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COP21: a "green seminar" held at the French Residence on 27 November
Right before the opening of the COP21 in Paris, a green inter-embassy seminar has been held at the French Ambassador's Residence in London on Friday 27 November. Opened by the French Ambassador to the UK S.E Sylvie Bermann, the meeting gathered representatives from 13 embassies: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malta, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United-States.
Olivier Lacroix, First Counsellor of the French Embassy, presented the embassy's "Environmental Charter", implemented in May 2015. The Charter identifies 3 main objectives: put in place simple measures to reduce the embassy's carbon footprint, raise employees' awareness and affirm France's commitment to sustainable development. Concretely, this means consuming less paper, recycling waste, keeping an eye on water and energy consumptions and giving priority to clean or public means of transportation for official journeys. Thanks to this charter, the French Embassy and the French Consulate are running on 100% green electricity since last summer.
The representatives of each embassy then shared the results of the different actions they had tried: photovoltaic cells on the roofs, green walls and roofs, LED bulbs, double glazing, etc. The architect Nick Baker also reminded the obstacles to reducing the ecological footprint - and more specifically the necessity to respect the historial aspects of these ancient buildings.