Measuring Carbon Emissions in Davos 

By Michael Woelk, CEO of Picarro

Transformation. Transparency. New models. Reinvention. Responsibility. Green. These have been core elements to practically every discussion or session I’ve had or participated in – from Thomas Friedman’s Wake-up Call to America to Dr Oz telling me I need to sleep more. These are truly memorable events!

But here’s something I know more about than anyone else participating the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012: the amount of carbon emissions emitted before and during the conference. You see, with our instruments on the ground and with the help of our collaborators, team Picarro has been quietly measuring Davos’ carbon emissions.

Consider these points in the context of the Forum’s theme on shaping new models: 70% of emissions come from cities; 50% of the world’s population lives in cities; and 2% of the world’s land mass is in cities. Only one city in the world is actually measuring carbon emissions – Davos.

The new model is a no-brainer: measure the emissions in cities and make the data transparent. Understand that all other cities rely on carbon inventories, i.e. useful but nonetheless self-tabulated accounts of energy use. Re-tabulate and it’s called a “measurement”. Get a third party to bless the tabulation and it’s “verified”. Understand further that the best inventories for Davos are circa 2002, which means they’re ancient history reports. By contrast, the data generated from our instruments are continually sent to Penn State where Professor Ken Davis and crew toil away. Leading up to the conference the measured emissions suggest the inventories have been under-reporting emission by 35%. Scale that delta to megacities. Wow!
Now here’s the amazing part. Davos’ emissions have plummeted 30% since the conference began. While Penn State and Picarro scientists can’t say what specifically caused the drop, I will say that Davos is indeed greener while the World Economic Forum is in town. Bravo.

Here’s the link to ” CityCarbon: Today’s Carbon Emissions in Davos”: