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M’Soft,Bill Clinton team up on GHG emissions

Microsoft has teamed up with Bill Clinton’s NGO to create a free on-line tool for global cities to monitor their GHG emissions.

As US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tries to rope in India in combating climate change,Microsoft has teamed up with her husband’s NGO to create a free on-line tool for global cities,including Delhi and Mumbai,to monitor their greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions.

Microsoft,the global software firm,has created the online carbon accounting tool called ‘Project 2 Degrees’ for cities across the world to monitor their GHG emissions and open up an area for enterprise software companies to provide the best tools for the job.

Cities account for only two per cent of the world’s land mass but produce up to 75 per cent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions,so they became the focus for ‘Project 2 Degrees’ that is a collaboration with software designers Autodesk and the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI),a programme launched by former US President Bill Clinton.

“This is a long journey for our governments,be they local or national,but we could have the biggest impact by working with local governments as they have the ability to measure what’s happening locally in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and to have an effect on the local economy and the local environment first,” Matt Miszewski,Microsoft’s general manager for Worldwide E-government,said.

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“We want to show how software can help solve some very difficult issues. A great deal of the importance of this project is to be able to share this information from city to city,region to region,” CNN quoted Miszewski as saying.

“A lot of companies are worried and interested in carbon accounting,but don’t necessarily feel an urgency to adopt it.

But there is enough regulation in the pipeline,certainly in the US,that makes it look real and coming in a couple of years,” said Scott Clavenna of Greentech Media.

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“It will go from a niche of a couple of hundred companies using this kind of software right now to thousands.” The first cities that will be comparing their CO2 high scores come from the 56 cities associated with the inaptly named C40 group that is in partnership with the Clinton Climate Initiative. Delhi and Mumbai are among the 40 cities.

Currently,the World Resources Institute’s Greenhouse Gas Protocol is the most widely used international accounting tool for both governments and businesses,covering the six greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol.

Over 200 companies are developing accounting software,according to research by Greentech Media,and over 3,000 businesses are using their products to track GHG emissions.

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The US wants India to agree to limit its carbon emissions ahead of the signing of a new UN climate treaty in Copenhagen in December. During a meeting with Hillary Clinton yesterday,Minister of State for Environment Jairam Ramesh had asserted that New Delhi was “simply not in a position” to accept any legally binding emission reductions.

First published on: 20-07-2009 at 05:13:51 pm
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