An online carbon emission calculator has been developed to help green commuters track their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions when traveling by car, bus or subway.
The calculator is part of the Green Commuting, Carbon Footprint campaign initiated by the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, the China Association for NGO Cooperation and the US-based Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
After punching their travel routes into the calculator, commuters receive readouts detailing the amounts of CO2 and other pollutants their trips would generate.
The calculator is available at People's Daily's website, Sohu.com and www.cleanair.net.cn.
It was designed by the institute of transportation engineering of Tsinghua University.
"We studied many up-to-date carbon calculators developed at home and abroad to create this system so that it is suited to China's realities," its chief designer Shi Qixin said.
"Its greatest advantage is that it is extremely easy to use," he said.
EDF's chief economist Daniel J Dudek said the calculator's creation is a breakthrough in pollution emissions tracking.
"It will help the Chinese government to fulfill its international commitment made on the UN Climate Change Conference held in Bali last year, which is to make climate change mitigation in a reportable, measurable and verifiable way."
Du Shaozhong, deputy chief of the Beijing municipal bureau of environmental protection said: "The Carbon Footprint campaign signifies Beijing's environmental protection has moved one step further from education and communication to quantifiable action."
In addition to appealing to individuals, the calculator's creators hope to target commercial enterprises, organizations and NGOs.
Thirty organizations and two green communities, including BP, BASF and BHP Billiton, signed Green Commuter commitments yesterday.
April 4, 2008)