The Australian Marine Environment Protection Association (AUSMEPA) will find out on Tuesday whether it has won a sizeable grant from Google.org. AUSMEPA is one of four finalists in the Google Impact Challenge with its Port Emissions Portal up for a possible A$500,000 in funding from the search engine giant if it wins tomorrow.
The portal utilises satellite tracking and a big data approach, and enables ports and their stakeholders to measure air quality and changing air patterns throughout the port environs.
Warwick Norman, AUSMEPA chairman and CEO of RightShip, commented: “We all know that climate change is a real and urgent problem. It’s a massive global issue that requires both individual and collective action to counter. Addressing local, and by extension, global shipping emissions from vessels calling at ports provides a previously unfulfilled but vital information gap. We hope this will be a catalyst that contributes to positive maritime industry action on climate change challenges.”
As a not-for-profit AUSMEPA has one part-time employee, but otherwise relies on volunteers and corporate donations; and so without significant seed funding a project of this magnitude and scale would not be achievable.
“Ports are increasingly looking to encourage and incentivize the more energy efficient vessels through their own sustainability programs, and we believe that this portal will act as a useful measurement tool for such programs,” Norman says.
AUSMEPA says the project will be scaled up to over 170 countries, connecting over 3,000 ports, and will improve the knowledge of air emissions associated with shipping activities in port.
Splash readers can vote for the project here.