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Measuring carbon emissions at the Canada–France–Hawaii Telescope

Measuring the carbon emissions of the CFHT in 2019 reveals that the per employee emissions are 16.5 tCO2e, six times above the recommendation of the Paris Agreement, with ~63% due to the electricity consumption of the summit facility and ~25% to out-of-state air travel. Concerted efforts are underway to reduce this figure.

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Fig. 1: Visual breakdown of the carbon emissions at CFHT in 2019.


  1. Stevens, A. R. H., Bellstedt, S., Elahi, P. J. & Murphy, M. T. Nat. Astron. (2020).

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The authors thank K. F. Thronas and P. Keeney, without whom this study would not have been started. The authors also thank L. Dale, C. Castaneda, J. Rodgers, A. Sayco and T. Yost, who have made this study possible by gathering a multitude of bills and expense reports, and all other CFHT employees who contribute daily to making CFHT — and the planet — greener.

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Correspondence to Nicolas Flagey.

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M.J.S. is the creator of CarbonBuddy. The other authors declare no competing interests.

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Flagey, N., Thronas, K., Petric, A. et al. Measuring carbon emissions at the Canada–France–Hawaii Telescope. Nat Astron 4, 816–818 (2020).

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