The global climate-action-map is a cool application making use of publicly available datasets to visualize which countries are actively engaged in the fight against climate changeClimate change is a lasting change in weather patterns over long periods of time. It can be a natural phenomena and and has occurred on Earth even before people inhabited it. Quite different is a current situation that is also referred to as climate change, anthropogenic climate change, or .... It has been released by the Climate Institute.

All major emitting countries are implementing policies to reduce emissionsEmissions of greenhouse gases, greenhouse gas precursors, and aerosols associated with human activities, including the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, land-use changes, livestock, fertilisation, etc. (IPCC), drive clean energy investment and improve energy efficiencyUsing less energy/electricity to perform the same function. Programs designed to use electricity more efficiently - doing the same with less.. This is driven by a range of factors including the need to reduce local and global air pollution, avoid environmental degradation, improve energy securityLowers tensions in domestic energy supply and reduces energy shortages. and build new industries and employment opportunities. This map provides a summary of high-level national actions on climate change and a good point to start researching the facts.

What becomes obvious is that while countries representing over 80 % of global emissions have now committed to reduce or limit greenhouse gas emissionsGreenhouse gas emissions cause dangerous anthropogenic climate change. Emissions include CO2, fluoridated gases, methane which are emitted by human activity such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels, and water vapour., the current commitments on the table mean the world is still heading for 3-4 degrees of global warmingHuman activities are adding greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, to the atmosphere, which are enhancing the natural greenhouse effect. While the natural greenhouse effect is keeping average temperature on earth at about +15°C, this enhanced greenhouse effect .... A lot more needs to be done to keep rising temperatures within manageable boundaries!barrel.gif

The map, which works based on a color code for a first impression, gives country specific details at mouse-over at national levels.

Criteria for the ranking of countries:

  • Emissions Target – the greatest emitters have set themselves targets and committed to the international community to reduce emissions compared to a ‘business as usual’ scenario
  • Renewable Energy Target – today, about 100 countries have such a target in place
  • Carbon Price – average base carbon price is shown in the local currency and is converted into international dollars
  • Emissions Standard – whether a country is implementing regulations to control carbon pollution from the power sector
  • Energy EfficiencyUsing less energy/electricity to perform the same function. Programs designed to use electricity more efficiently - doing the same with less. – over 40 countries have set targets to improve the efficiency of their energy consumption
  • ForestryForestry is the management and care of woods, including fellings and plantation of new trees. and  AgricultureCultivation of the ground and harvesting of crops and handling of livestock, the primary function is the provision of food and feed. Emissions – some countries have incentives in place to address emissions from farming and other land uses

I think this is another good example of how  visualizations of data can help to gain oversight about complex areas of climate change mitigationMitigation refers to actions that reduce our contribution to the causes of climate change. This means reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), through energy efficiency and using alternative forms of transport and energy.(UKCIP). Try it!

EnviroFinland also reports about this new map application.