Today, Google is expanding its Environmental Insights Explorer to London, Ontario along with a number of additional cities across Canada, helping cities access data, measure their greenhouse gas emissions, and take action towards reducing their carbon footprint.
Google’s Environmental Insights Explorer is an online tool that was developed in partnership with the Global Covenant of Mayors, and first launched in 2018, featuring Victoria, B.C as an inaugural city.
By analyzing Google’s comprehensive global mapping data with greenhouse gas emission factors, Environmental Insights Explorer estimates city-scale building and transportation carbon emissions data. The tool has the ability to share the carbon emissions of different transportation modes (automobiles, public transit, biking etc) and the percentage of emissions generated by residential or non-residential buildings.
“By using Environmental Insights Explorer to compare the greenhouse gas emission estimates to the City’s own emissions calculations, City staff can be more confident in taking data-informed decisions aligned to our Community Energy Action Plan, London’s plan to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and resulting emissions,” says Jamie Skimming, Manager of Community Energy Initiatives at the City of London.
Environmental Insights Explorer also provides renewable energy insights, with city-wide solar energy maps to help cities evaluate the potential of reducing emissions. “The solar map is particularly valuable to assess the solar energy potential of municipal buildings in London such as community centres and arenas along with private rooftops across London,” says Skimming.
The insights that Environmental Insights Explorer provides have traditionally required months of research and a lot of resources for cities undertaking a climate action plan. By using Google’s own data sources, a complete survey of a city can be assessed very quickly.
“Google remains steadfast in its commitment to sustainability and a zero-carbon future. By making complex data simple and easy to understand, we aim to empower cities with technology to help create a clean and healthy planet for everyone,” says Kate Brandt, Google Sustainability Officer.
Londoners learn more about climate action and Environmental Insights Explorer at https://canada.googleblog.com/2019/10/canada-accelerates-its-climate-action-with-data.