EU puts climate control in our hands

New mobile application calculates greenhouse gas emissions

The European Commission (EC) has launched an application that uses your mobile phone to track your carbon footprint.

The application, called mobGAS, was developed by the EC's Joint Research Centre, and enables users to see the effect their daily activities have on emissions of the three major greenhouse gases - carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.

Information about everyday activities, such as cooking, transport, lighting and using electronic appliances, is entered into the application, which then calculates individual emissions.

A user diary of daily, weekly and yearly emissions can be registered on a secure website, allowing a comparison with national and world averages. The application also includes an animation reflecting the user's contribution to the Kyoto Protocol target.

According to recent Eurostat figures, individuals can have a significant impact on reducing emissions. 21% of emissions are related to industrial and associated processes, while 31% are from energy production, 20% from transport, 9% from agriculture and 3% from waste.

"All of this shows that individual behaviour, such as how we travel, the appliances we use or the food we eat, can make a real different to emissions," the Commission says. "Lifestyle and consumer choices are a key factor, so it is important that people are aware of the implications of their personal choices."

mobGAS is available in 21 European languages and can be downloaded here.

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