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Tracking Carbon Pledges

More tips from Copenhagen

1 min read

As the week wears on here in Copenhagen, attention will keep focusing on who is promising to do what and when, and whether the aggregate results can possibly keep the earth's 21st-century warming from exceeding 2 degrees Celsius, the stated goal of the COP15 conference.

Yesterday, standing in a seven-hour line to get into the Bella Center, I found myself by happy coincidence standing next to Tom Fiddaman, who created the global pledge thermometer or barometer that I recommended in an earlier post. Fiddaman, who obtained a doctorate in systems dynamics at MIT's Sloan School and now lives in Montana where he telecommutes for Ventana Systems, turned me on to a carbon pledge inventory maintained by UNEP, the United Nations Environment Programme. While you're there, check out the daily Copenhagen news feed that UNEP maintains on its homepage.

For another user-friendly indicator of Copenhagen progress or regress, check out the World Wildlife Fund's Climate Deal Barometer. And while you're there, you might as well take a glance at WWF's useful COP15 newsfeed.

The Conversation (0)
This photograph shows a car with the words “We Drive Solar” on the door, connected to a charging station. A windmill can be seen in the background.

The Dutch city of Utrecht is embracing vehicle-to-grid technology, an example of which is shown here—an EV connected to a bidirectional charger. The historic Rijn en Zon windmill provides a fitting background for this scene.

We Drive Solar

Hundreds of charging stations for electric vehicles dot Utrecht’s urban landscape in the Netherlands like little electric mushrooms. Unlike those you may have grown accustomed to seeing, many of these stations don’t just charge electric cars—they can also send power from vehicle batteries to the local utility grid for use by homes and businesses.

Debates over the feasibility and value of such vehicle-to-grid technology go back decades. Those arguments are not yet settled. But big automakers like Volkswagen, Nissan, and Hyundai have moved to produce the kinds of cars that can use such bidirectional chargers—alongside similar vehicle-to-home technology, whereby your car can power your house, say, during a blackout, as promoted by Ford with its new F-150 Lightning. Given the rapid uptake of electric vehicles, many people are thinking hard about how to make the best use of all that rolling battery power.

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