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Carbon Monitoring for Action (CARMA) was a global database that gathered and presented the best available estimates of CO2 emissions for 50,000 power plants around the world and the identities of the 4,000 firms that own them. Electricity production is responsible for about one-quarter of all climate-warming greenhouse gas pollution, and CARMA was the only global database for tracking specific sources of CO2, the most important greenhouse gas. First launched in 2007, CARMA was expanded and upgraded in 2012 to incorporate data from authorities in the United States, European Union, Canada, India, and South Africa as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency. For facilities lacking publicly-disclosed data, estimates were generated using a new suite of statistical models.
The objective of CARMA was to provide information necessary to create a cleaner, low-carbon future. By providing complete information for both clean and dirty power producers, CARMA hopes to influence the opinions and decisions of consumers, investors, shareholders, managers, workers, activists, and policymakers. CARMA builds on experience with public information disclosure techniques that have proven successful in reducing traditional pollutants.
CARMA is no longer active and the last update was November 28, 2012. The database, including documentation, is available for download here.
This is a joint posting with Kevin Ummel
Q: What can we do to save the earth?
Wendell Berry: "Stay put."
Economists are always irritating their colleagues by harping about opportunity cost, but the concept can be useful nonetheless. For example, consider the “carbon account” announced for the Poznan climate change meeting. According to the sponsors, travel and other logistics for the 8,000 conference participants will generate 13,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
Participants have duly announced the purchase of “carbon offsets” as atonement for their logistical sins (which begins to sound like the sale of indulgences by the medieval Church, but that’s another story). The whole thing projects a reassuring aura: By purchasing offsets, the participants can cover the “climate cost” of the meeting.