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    Review of 'Location location location: A carbon footprint calculator for transparent travel to COP27'

    Location location location: A carbon footprint calculator for transparent travel to COP27Crossref
    Highly relevant and of interest for the upcoming COP
    Average rating:
        Rated 4.5 of 5.
    Level of importance:
        Rated 5 of 5.
    Level of validity:
        Rated 4 of 5.
    Level of completeness:
        Rated 4 of 5.
    Level of comprehensibility:
        Rated 4 of 5.
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    Reviewed article

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    Location location location: A carbon footprint calculator for transparent travel to COP27

    Addressing the large carbon footprint of conferences such as the UN Climate Change Convention Conference of the Parties (COP) will be important for maintaining public confidence in climate policy. Transparency is also a vital aspect of creating equitable outcomes in climate policies, as often those most likely to be affected or who can create change on the ground are often unable to attend in person because of the high financial costs as well as having a large carbon footprint. The selection of host locations for the regular meetings of the UN Climate Change Convention is based on a rotation in amongst the five UN regions, which for 2022 is Africa. Here, we present a carbon footprint calculator for travel to COP 27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, weighing the benefits of certain routes and modes of transport. The calculator demonstrates the well-known carbon-efficiency of coach and rail over flights but shows that these benefits are partly mitigated in the case of COP 27 due to insufficient transport links from Europe to the conference location. However, we also highlight some of the benefits of hosting a COP in the global South, particularly in the context of climate justice. Users of the calculator are invited to consider all their options for travel and acknowledge the issue of climate justice through careful selection of carbon offsets.

      Review information

      This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com.

      Environmental change,Environmental management, Policy & Planning,Geography
      Travel, COP,Climate Change, Climate Justice,Carbon offsetting,Climate,Carbon footprint

      Review text

      Overall, the comments have been addressed well and the readability of the paper is improved. The inclusion of the methods section in the main body of the paper helps with the flow of the document.

      However, I still recommend some restructuring of the document somewhat. At a bit over a quarter of the length of the paper, the introduction section is quite long and some of the content would be a better fit in the discussion section. In particular, I’d recommend moving the content on climate justice, the brief history of carbon neutral COPs, and the information on recommendations for virtual attendance to the discussion section. The introduction section should bring the reader to the aim of the paper and, while interesting and important, these topics do not lead directly to the aim, but rather arise through the discussion of the results (e.g. recommending virtual attendance before the analysis has been conducted seems a bit premature).

      Other minor comments are given below.

      Line 8 – repetition – delete “often”

      Line 10 – typo – delete “in”

      Line 14 – I would recommend using “lessened” rather than “mitigated”, as “to mitigate” is usually used to mean “to make less severe” (and benefits aren’t severe)

      Line 43 – What does the 29% refer to?

      Mention in the methods section that London is the starting point for the analysis.  The first mention of London is on line 354 in the results.

      Figure 1 The first CO2e in the top left-hand corner of the calculator box looks like a zero is used instead of an “O”, i.e. C02e vs CO2e

      Line 194 – typo – is vs are, i.e. “carbon benefits are explored” or “carbon benefit is explored”

      Line 205 – typo – the paths of motorways and railways are …

      Line 265 – typo – subscript needed for CO2e

      Table 3 – Does this table cover all the countries considered? E.g Bulgaria is mentioned on lines 364-365, but is not included in the table.

      Line 358 – typo – space needed between number and unit, i.e. 300 km

      Figure 2 – For clarity, I’d recommend adding a footnote to explain that a flight is assumed from the destination noted, e.g. Brussels, Milan etc. 

      Figure 2 – Have you explained how the emissions were calculated from London to e.g. Brussels, e.g. if travelling by coach, was this assumed to be via the Eurotunnel (train) or by ferry between England and the continent? I don’t see this in the methodology, although maybe I missed it? Please update the methods section if needed to explain how this calculation was done.

      Line 404/405 – There is a slight inconsistency as the text refers to “carbon-time efficiency”, but the equation below calls it “CO2e saved per hour”.

      Line 449, 456 and 463, caption for Figure 5 – delete “ref” and rephrase.

      There is an equation after the conclusions. Is this meant to be here?

      Check the reference list. There are a few references which I think should have weblinks and dates of access, but these are not currently included.



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