Concept: India’s Department of Environment and Forest has developed CarbonWatch which is the country’s first mobile application dedicated to help users in assessing their personal carbon footprint. It considers factors such as water use, electricity usage, waste separation and transportation to determine the level of a user’s daily carbon emissions.

Nature of Disruption: CarbonWatch prompts users to fill out the information related to water usage, energy consumption, waste generation, and transportation. Users are required to include details about their water usage. Information on the electricity units used per month at home, type of cooking connection at home, monthly bills and solar energy consumption must be included in the energy category. Under the waste group, users include information about their waste production and if the wastes are segregated or not. In the transportation portion, users need to specify the monthly distance traveled by bus, train, autorickshaw and annual travel by flight in hours and whether they travel by four-wheeler, two-wheeler, or bicycle. With the above details, the mobile application can measure the individual’s carbon footprint and include a score ranging from 0 to 10. The application would also include data on the national and global averages of emissions, and an individual’s level of emission generation.

Outlook: Chandigarh became the first Union Territory in India to launch CarbonWatch. The findings from the app can aid the Union Territory to develop tailored projects to raise citizens’ awareness related to climate change and mitigation strategies. The application would provide data on the national and global averages of emissions, and an individual’s level of emission generation. This can help users to minimize their carbon emissions and contribute to a negative carbon footprint. In addition, the software only displays the most recent pollution ranking. There is no historical evidence or a way to track whether the pollution score has risen or declined as the input values have shifted. Comparative maps and the potential to export data can be very useful in aiding people in keeping track of their success.

This article was originally published in