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Anyone involved in climate research knows flying carries a huge carbon footprint. But researchers are also painfully aware that travel is often necessary to do the research in the first place and communicate that research to politicians, the public and businesses, especially when it comes to international negotiations.
To help staff consider their emissions, the centre has rolled out a new App to set emissions targets. The centre’s Carbon Tracker was developed by researchers at the UK’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.
Unlike many tools to track emissions, the Carbon Tracker was designed specifically for academic staff and it allows staff to set emissions targets, for example in line with Sweden’s own emissions reduction targets, or following the Carbon Law pathway, proposed by centre researchers in 2017, of halving emissions every decade – though this is a global average and those in wealthy countries should go much faster.
It can take just 30-60 seconds to input a journey. “People hate filling in forms so the tool was also designed to be as simple and quick as possible to complete,” says Owen Gaffney from the centre who is managing the project.
The team managing the project will roll out a series of incentives to encourage staff to adopt the system. Data from the initiative will be used by climate researchers studying behavioural change.
The tool is also being used by Stockholm University’s Department of Environmental Sciences and Analytical Chemistry (ACES) and the pilot scheme will run through 2018. Stockholm University is monitoring the pilot carefully with the possibility of creating a university-wide system.
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