New interactive map launched as part of COP27 shows the biggest climate polluters in Wales
A new interactive map launched as part of COP27 has identified the biggest individual climate polluters across the world – including in Wales.
Environmental tech nonprofit Climate Trace, founded by former Vice President Al Gore, has created the map using satellite data to map out nearly 80,000 individual sources of climate pollution around the world.
Perhaps awkwardly for the Welsh Government, which has declared a climate emergency, one of the top emitters identified by the nonprofit in Wales is the publicly-owned Cardiff Airport which emits 24.28 kilo-tons of emissions a year.
The largest emitter identified overall in Wales is the Port Talbot steelworks which emits 5.55 million tons, followed by the Valero Pembroke Refinery which emits 2.51 million tons.
Just one of the biggest emitters is in the north of Wales – Flintshire cement plant which emits 269.41 kilo tons a year.
The climate pollution for every emitter is measured in metric tons (MT), the standard measurement for climate pollution.
Climate Trace said that they harnessed images from more than 300 satellites, over 11,000 remote sensors, and in collaboration with 100 organizations and datasets from all over the world to compile their data for tracking greenhouse gas emissions.
The map only shows emissions from individual emitters like transportation, aviation, and buildings, rather than individuals or cars.
Climate Trace published the new tranche of data as part of the COP26 conference in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt.
“The climate crisis can, at times, feel like an intractable challenge – in large part because we’ve had a limited understanding of precisely where emissions are coming from,” said former U.S. Vice President and Climate TRACE founding member Al Gore.
“This level of granularity means that we finally have emissions data that enable us to act decisively. It also means we can prioritize efforts to achieve the deep cuts in greenhouse gas pollution we need to prevent the most catastrophic impacts of the climate crisis.”
Gavin McCormick, founder and executive director of Climate TRACE convening member WattTime said that the “massive dataset” represented the combined efforts of more than 100 contributing organizations worldwide.
“Between us all, we’ve been able to estimate the emissions of nearly all the largest emitting facilities on the planet. Our work is far from done, but I’ve been thrilled to hear from climate negotiators, corporate sustainability teams, investors looking to decarbonize, climate scientists, and even activists that this information is already a game changer that can help them make better decisions and decarbonize faster.”
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