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United Nations cuts cooling

Temperatures are set to rise at the United Nations headquarters as air conditioning is cut back in the 39-storey landmark building.

According to the Washington Times, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has ordered the launch of a number of initiatives to save energy and cut carbon emissions to mitigate against climate change.

As part of the month long experiment thermostat settings will rise by five degrees from 72 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit – the equivalent of a rise from just over 22 to 25 degrees Celsius. The air conditioning will also be switched off at weekends.

Engineers will monitor the building’s energy consumption and utility costs to measure the impact.

At the moment 4,500 staff are based at the headquarters building and it remains to be seen how they will cope.  But Mr Ban has tried to alleviate worries by encouraging workers to wear national dress instead of formal office wear.

Mr Ban’s adviser Robert Orr said: “Successful negotiations are necessary, but individual and institutional behaviour must also change all over the world if we are to address the climate crisis, and the secretary-general felt that this was one way the U.N. could lead by example.

'If adopted on a large scale, these types of policies could have a major global impact and will definitely help the participating institutions' bottom line.'