Google announced that it will help more than 500 cities and local governments reduce 1 gigaton of carbon emissions per year by 2030.
Tech giant Google has made a bold urban promise as part of what it calls its “most ambitious decade of climate action”. It announced that it will help more than 500 cities and local governments reduce an aggregate of 1 gigaton of carbon emissions per year by 2030 and beyond.
The key to achieving this commitment is Google’s Environmental Insights Explorer, a platform that combines Google’s global mapping data together with standard greenhouse gas emission factors. Currently, 122 cities have access to EIE, but Google intends to expand this to more than 3,000 cities worldwide.
According to Rebecca Moore, Director of Google Earth, Earth Engine & Outreach, EIE can help cities to develop climate action plans by making it easier for them to estimate the carbon footprint of their buildings and transportation activities, as well as discover their solar energy potential.
The platform is already being used by cities and local governments around the world to create climate action plans and support economic development. For example, using EIE data, the city of Houston discovered that it has a solar potential of 5 million megawatt hours from local rooftop and community solar projects. Not only did these findings inform the city’s recently approved climate plan, but they could also lead to the creation of as many as 1,000 jobs through new solar projects.
To accelerate this effort and scale data access, Google has teamed up with organizations such as Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) and Ironbark Sustainability. They will integrate EIE data into their own tools in an effort to help digitize emissions measurement and planning.
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