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Archived stories from 2009

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Broker emissions must be cut

A broker beauty parade produces the same amount of CO2 as heating and lighting a suburban house for 10 years, it has been estimated. Reviewing and choosing a new broker has a very definite environmental impact according to research conducted by a physicist from Harvarst University

Broker emissions are a leading
cause of climate change

A typical search for a new broker involving presentations by four companies is thought to generate about 1,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Boiling a kettle produces about 15g.

The emissions are caused both by the electricity required to run the brokers' pointlessly elaborate powerpoint presentations on their laptop computer and the hot air contained in their promises to clients. Clients themselves add to the CO2 produced during presentations by repeated sighing or even snoring. The discovery comes amid increased warnings about the little-known environmental impact of computer, internet and broker use.

According to Boremen, the American research firm, brokers now cause about 20% of global CO2 emissions and the sector's carbon footprint exceeds that of the world's aviation industry.

Dr Victor Vector, a physicist from Harvarst University who is leading researcher into the subject, has estimated that a typical broker's pitch creates about 10kg of CO2 for every second it is endured. Brokers with a complex video presentation can be responsible for up to 20kg per second, he believes.

On his website, www.brokerhotair.com, Dr Vector wrote: "CO2 is largely generated by burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas. But brokers are also big emitters of greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere, even in their normal state. Once they get going on a sales pitch to clients their contribution to climate change is enormous."

Dr Vector believes that brokers' have a unique ability to absorb vast quantities of gourmet food and drink to power presentations that can last hours. "Even if a client asks the broker to keep it brief, the broker has an extraordinary ability to compress and release the same volume of CO2 needed for a long talk into a short one," the scientist said. "We've even heard of one London market broker whose risk management clients were so overcome by the CO2 concentration in the meeting room that they had to be resuscitated by promises of a weekend in a shooting lodge in the Highlands."


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