High-tech emissions tracker exposes carbon polluters in real time

AP

The world has entered an era of “radical transparency for emissions tracking” thanks to a new tool that offers the most detailed, independent look at global greenhouse gas pollution to date.

Launched on Wednesday at the Cop27 climate summit in Egypt, the tracker seeks to hold big and small polluters accountable by detecting and logging emission sources in real time.

It's the brainchild of Climate TRACE – a non-profit coalition of artificial intelligence (AI) experts, data scientists, researchers and NGOs – who describe it as a comprehensive inventory of emissions spanning 20 sectors.

Included is oil and gas production and refining, the production of steel, cement and aluminium, shipping, aviation, mining, waste, agriculture, road transportation and the power sector.

Pinpointing polluters

Coalition co-founder Al Gore – a former US vice president – said that, until now, there's been a limited understanding of precisely where emissions were coming from, making the climate crisis feel like an “intractable challenge”.

AI and satellite data, the team says, has revealed that a large share of carbon pollution comes from a small number of facilities.


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