- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 29, 2008

UNITED NATIONS | Everyone worries about climate change and now the United Nations is doing something about it — beginning Friday the temperature inside U.N. headquarters in New York will rise by five degrees.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who made global warming a top priority at the beginning of his five year term, has ordered the official U.N. “In House Climate Change Initiative.”

Officials said the August-long experiment — also dubbed “Cool UN” — will allow engineers to cut carbon emissions by using less air conditioning.

The initiative will stretch the comfort and goodwill of some 4,500 staffers who work in the glass-walled Secretariat building, a veritable 39-story terrarium planted in full sun on the East River.

To make life a little easier on the bureaucrats and staffers who work inside headquarters, Mr. Ban will encourage them to wear their national dress, which was once the norm here.

Jackets and ties will be discretionary, according to an aide to the secretary general, noting that Mr. Ban will lead by example.

“Look for a cool, calm, casual S.G.,” he wrote in an e-mail.

The U.N. thermostats are currently set to 72 degrees, and will rise to 77 degrees for August work days and be turned off completely on weekends.

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