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COP15: turn down the heat with wool
Dec '09
The Wool Carbon Alliance applauds world leaders serious about mitigating climate change, particularly those leading by example by wearing wool at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP15.

Wool suits, jackets and coats can all be seen at the conference, an example of a natural thermal insulator with the capacity to reduce our reliance on heating from fossil fuels.

However it is not the first time clothing has been used for such a message.

“Turn down the heating and put on a sweater” was the message from a campaign instigated by US President Jimmy Carter during the oil crisis of 1979. Its message still has great resonance 30 years on.

The European Commission states a household can cut its CO2 emissions by up to 300kg a year and energy bill by 5-10 per cent simply by reducing its heating by just 1°C. [i]

'Wearing wool, walking on wool and sleeping with wool are all ways of using this great renewable fibre in our everyday lives and in doing so think globally and act locally,' Wool Carbon Alliance chairman Chick Olsson said.

Produced as part of the natural carbon process of plant sequestration and digestion, wool is made of 50 per cent organic carbon by weight. [ii], [iii], [iv]

The Wool Carbon Alliance is working to fill the research gaps, investing in studies of how much carbon flows through soils, plants and animals on farm. In doing so, it explores the opportunity for such land-based (terrestrial) systems to sequester more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists stated that a 15 per cent increase in the world's terrestrial carbon stock at a global scale would remove the equivalent of all the carbon pollution emitted by the burning of fossil fuels since the beginning of the industrial revolution. [v]

The Wool Carbon Alliance was formed earlier this year and consists of various state and national wool interests, working together to research and promote wool as the fibre of choice for environmentally conscious consumers.

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