EcoWeb Tool: Carbon Monitoring for Action


Enter your zip code into the newly launched Carbon Monitoring for Action web site and you’re likely to uncover some information that will surprise you — there’s really a power plant that close to me spewing hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of carbon emissions into the atmosphere? Good to know. When it comes to carbon emissions from electricity generation, the more information we have, the better, which is one of the reasons I really appreciate the site’s efforts.

CARMA is a big ol’ database of information on the carbon emissions of over 50,000 power plants and 4,000 power companies across the globe; it’s produced and backed by the Confronting Climate Change Initiative at the Center for Global Development. The site uses green(good)- and red(bad)-colored icons to classify power companies and plants and illustrate who and where (via Google maps) the biggest emitters are located.

Users of the site can search to find power companies and plants via zip code, state, country or facility name. Who’s the biggest offender of them all? That would be China’s Huaneng Power International, which is releasing nearly 292 million tons of CO2 every year. The worst country? The U.S. — with 2.79 billion tons annually.

I really like the idea behind this site, but the implementation is a tad kludgy. The information was at times hard to find and several sections of the site didn’t work and/or provided little info. The group today acknowledged the sluggishness, saying it was due to an overwhelming amount of traffic since its launch yesterday. It also said it’s working hard to get the site running smoothly, so we will give them some slack. Still, if they added some Web 2.0 features and invested more into making the site easier to navigate, we would love them for it. Check it out for yourself and let us know what you think.

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