Google.org announced yesterday that Australian Marine Environment Protection Association’s Port Emissions Portal has been selected as one of ten finalists in the 2016 Google Impact Challenge in Australia, which awards funding to Australian non-profit innovators with big ideas for a better world.
AUSMEPA’s project, the Port Emissions Portal, addresses the current lack of essential ship emissions data for the shipping industry. Utilising satellite tracking and a big data approach, the platform will enable ports and their stakeholders to measure air quality and changing air patterns throughout the port environs.
“AUSMEPA’s clear mandate is to protect Australia’s maritime environment, and one of the biggest challenges we are facing is climate change. This is not just a local issue, however action has to start at a local level. With shipping’s exclusion from the COP21 global agreement on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, we are taking a leading role in providing the industry with effective solutions” said AUSMEPA Chairman, Capt Warwick Norman.
Starting in Australia and scaling up to over 170 countries, AUSMEPA’s port emissions portal plans to connect over 3,000 ports and improve the knowledge of air emissions associated with shipping activities in port.
As part of an international community of MEPAs (Marine Environment Protection Associations) Capt Norman said AUSMEPA’s plan was to work with their international counterparts to provide a locally-initiated, global solution to shipping’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.
AUSMEPA could be one of four organisations to receive a $750,000 grant to further to assist in developing the port emissions portal. The six additional finalists will receive $250,000.
A judging panel will select three winners, and a fourth will be selected based on public voting, which is open from 4 – 25 October and can be accessed here.
Alan Noble, Google Australia’s Director of Engineering, said “We know good ideas combined with technology can help to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges. Ten Australian non-for-profits have been selected as finalists in the latest round of the Google Impact Challenge for their outstanding ideas to use technology to make an impact on important causes.”
AUSMEPA are encouraging all maritime industry stakeholders around the world to support their initiative and vote for increased transparency and improved knowledge of air emissions caused by shipping activity in ports.
More information on the project is available from the AUSMEPA website.
Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities and currently works at Redkite, a childhood cancer charity.