26th September 2019

Online tool created by UoM to combat climate emergency

The free to use Tyndall Carbon Targeter, designed by The University of Manchester, could assist the UK in reaching national emission goals
Online tool created by UoM to combat climate emergency
Photo: StockSnap @ Pixabay

The University of Manchester and Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research have released The Tyndall Carbon Targeter, a new free to use online tool in order to potentially decrease UK greenhouse gas emissions.

It is well known that a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is necessary to prevent global warming, as gases, such as carbon dioxide, absorb and radiate heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, causing detrimental climate change. These gases are released by various human activities such as agricultural practices and the burning of fossil fuels. The accumulation of the gases, consequently, leads to a rise in global temperature. This is known as the greenhouse gas effect, which causes global warming.

The Tyndall Carbon Targeter computes and visualises a location’s carbon budget. A carbon budget is defined as the highest ‘tolerable’ amount of greenhouse gases to be emitted over time. The Tyndall Carbon Targeter calculates these budgets using the latest data released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The tool is designed to calculate a maximum carbon budget for the selected area, as well as projected emissions reduction pathway, interim carbon budgets and average emissions reduction rate. The tool provides a downloadable PDF covering the method, results and recommendations for the carbon budget, making it compatible for any organisation to use.

One of the developers of the tool, Dr. Chris Jones from the University of Manchester, said: “Our approach applies principles from the Paris Agreement to scale this global carbon budget down to the UK and a set of clearly stated allocation principles to share the carbon budget between local areas.

“This is a practical and straightforward way for local and devolved governments in the UK to translate the implications of the Paris Agreement into carbon reduction commitments based on the latest science.”

The Tyndall Carbon Targeter could assist the UK in reaching national emission goals as set out by the government. In June, the UK pledged to achieve a net zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050. This would occur when greenhouse gas outputs are balanced by the removal of greenhouse gases through methods such as reforestation and habitat restoration.

Acknowledging net zero emissions will require cumulative effort across the country beyond computing targets. However, the Tyndall Carbon Targeter could be a powerful resource for local action.

The Targeter is currently utilised by 27 authorities in a range of cities, including Manchester, Sheffield, and Leeds. In addition to widespread use, following the carbon budgets recommended by this tool could ultimately have a positive impact on the environment.

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