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European Law Monitor newsEuropean Commission scientists launch first mobile application that uses your mobile phone to track your carbon footprint

mobGAS © ® is a new mobile phone application available in 21 European languages that allows users to see how their daily choices impact on climate change. This smart technology, developed by scientists working at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, allows users to see the implications of the choices they make every day, in terms of the three major greenhouse gases • carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. Information about everyday activities • cooking, transport, lighting, electronic appliances etc. - is put into the application, and calculations made of 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.

Individuals can have a significant impact on reducing emissions. According to recent Eurostat figures, 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, and the remainder from other sources. 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. Lifestyle and consumer choices are a key factor, so it is important that people are aware of the implications of their personal choices.

By downloading the application to a mobile phone • something people carry with them almost all the time • it is possible to make use of quieter moments • travelling on a bus, or waiting for an appointment, for example • to input the data for that day. This could include the means of transport they took, how they heated their house, how long they watched television and what they ate.

From today, mobGAS is being made available free of charge to anyone who is interested. Communication networks and mobile phone producers will also be involved in rolling-out the technology at national level.

This technology will be demonstrated by scientists of the JRC at the EU pavilion during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali from 3 December.
To download the application: