Almost two billion people around the world tuned into see Prince William marry Kate Middleton. It is no surprise that hysteria surrounding the event reached epic proportions as every detail of the big day has been covered by news services for months. However, amid all the focus on the dress, the route and the guest list, there hasn’t been much talk about the wedding’s carbon footprint and environmental impact – until now! According to The Telegraph, the wedding is estimated to have generated more than 6,765 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) – that is 10 times the amount of greenhouse gases the Buckingham Palace produces for in a whole year, and 1,230 times the annual emissions of the average UK household.
According to Landcare Research, which has developed an internationally recognized method of counting carbon emissions, a lot of the carbon was caused by the large number of international guests flying in from all over the world, as well as the vehicles used to transport them and other well-wishers and tourists to the capital. Approximately 3,957 tonnes of CO2e was generated by the 400,000 people travelling on the tube, while an additional 200,000 people were estimated to have arrived via national rail.
It is important to note that these figures don’t include the amount of CO2 generated by street parties, power usage from the international media and the energy used to create millions of tons of Union Jack bunting and flags.