Friday, June 22, 2007

Government tourism minister: My carbon footprint is private

UPDATE: Woodward is now secretary of state for Northern Ireland.

Slightly off-topic for Travolution, but managed with a colleague from Travel Weekly to grab a few minutes last night with Shaun Woodward, UK minister for "creative industries" and tourism.

In between talking about his best holiday (Cornwall, surprise-surprise, and the Three Valleys in France), I managed to squeeze in a question about carbon footprints.

[A rather timely one, I thought, considering environment secretary David Miliband launched the government's carbon calculator for the great unwashed earlier this week.]

However, Woodward was rather reluctant to discuss his own footprint.

"I actually think that is a personal question."
Oh, really.

I didn't realise at the time, but Miliband has revealed the level of his own footprint: a very worthy 2.76 tonnes per year [the national average is 4.47 tonnes].

So why did Woodward refuse to tell?
Hmmm... Needless to say, he was at pains to point out:
"I have more than offset my carbon footprint."
Not sure what you all think, but is it a private matter for a government minister?

[Remarkably, he still did have the front to ask about my own - a shameless 4.91 tonnes, boosted by the number of conferences the UK travel industry hosts overseas each year]

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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Anonymous said...

That's practically government policy. Didn't Tony Blair say that he refused to give up his own foreign holidays?

Travolution Blogger said...

Anonymous: Not sure on the intricacies of UK government policy (gave up political reporting 3 three years!), but certainly a mixed message if Miliband is willing to share his footprint, but Woodward is not.

Like Recess Monkey says [here, after picking up on our story], what does he have to hide?