World News

Sarkozy greener globe-trotter than Brown - report

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy delivers his speech at the opening of the International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Economy and Reconstruction of Gaza in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh March 2, 2009. REUTERS/Gerard Cerles/Pool

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy chalked up almost as many miles as Britain’s Gordon Brown and Germany’s Angela Merkel put together in 2008 but produced less greenhouse gas than either, a magazine reported on Monday.

The distance Sarkozy travelled last year was the equivalent of flying round the world eight times, Terra Eco magazine said, basing its emissions calculations on his itinerary and the type of aircraft used.

Sarkozy flew 324,595 kilometres (201,600 miles) and produced 7,100 tonnes in CO2 emissions, using a more fuel-efficient plane than the two other heads of government, the magazine said.

Britain’s prime minister produced the most carbon dioxide of the three, travelling 157,962 kilometres by plane and train and generating 8,429 tonnes of CO2 emissions, it said.

Chancellor Merkel, who made more than half her official trips within Germany last year, travelled 174,440 kilometres and emitted 7,395 tonnes of CO2, the magazine said.

Brown travelled mainly by Boeing 347, 357 and 777 and took the Eurostar train for visits to Paris and Brussels, while Sarkozy used an Airbus A319 and Merkel an Airbus A310, Terra Eco said.

Aviation and shipping make up 5 percent of mankind’s carbon dioxide emissions, as cheap flights and rising incomes have led to a boom in air travel, and the increasing globalisation of manufacturing means more goods crisscross the world’s oceans.