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Weather & Science

World’s CO2 Hotspots Pinpointed by Al Gore-Backed Climate Project

With maps and data on 72,000 power plants, oil refineries, airports and more, the new website Climate Trace aims to offer “radical climate transparency.”

Al Gore at the COP27 climate conference in Egypt, on Nov. 7.

Al Gore at the COP27 climate conference in Egypt, on Nov. 7.

Photographer: Islam Safwat/Bloomberg

A consortium of dozens of research nonprofits on Wednesday launched a free online platform that details greenhouse gas emissions around the world across 20 economic sectors. Climate Trace, which can be viewed on a web browser, includes a zoomable world map that displays and ranks the dirtiest 72,000 power plants, oil refineries, airports, ships and more. The group used satellite imagery and machine learning as well as more conventional techniques to build what it says is the largest available source of greenhouse gas emissions data. 

“The sources of emissions data that are available now are not granular enough, or comprehensive enough, to use as the basis for decisions,” Former US Vice President Al Gore said in an interview. “And so what we are finding is that there is a ravenous hunger for accurate data.” Gore, who has fundraised for the group, is expected to introduce the platform on Wednesday at COP27, the UN climate talks in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.