Sandbag’s smartphone app

Sandbag has developed a new smartphone app with ‘The climate numbers worth tracking’.

This new app provides a live feed of three numbers Sandbag believe everyone should be watching to see progress towards CO2-free energy systems:

  • For the UK: How clean is the electricity we are using; now and the next 24 hours
  • For Europe: How much does it cost polluters to emit greenhouse gases to the atmosphere?
  • For the world: What is the current atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases?


Clean electricity:

The first number is the average carbon intensity of the UK grid at that moment. The colour shows variation as the intensity changes.
Clicking through shows a breakdown of current generation by energy source. Colours here show carbon intensity of an energy source. The data comes direct from the National Grid and includes estimates of embedded renewables (e.g. rooftop solar).
At the top they display the carbon intensity throughout the day. It is easy to see when the electricity is cleanest.

Polluter pays:

The second number is the EU carbon price. A higher price means higher costs for power and industry to emit a tonne of greenhouse gases.
The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) covers more than 45% of emissions in Europe. The app tracks how much companies in the scheme have to pay for their pollution permits. The UK has a top-up in the form of the Carbon Floor Price, so the app presents that as well.

The big one:

Increasing atmospheric CO2 is the main driver of climate change. Sandbag takes concentration measurements from two climate research stations (Mauna Loa, Hawaii, and Mace Head in Ireland). The concentration fluctuates through the year with deciduous forest growth, but year by year rises upwards, towards the 450ppm concentration that will likely represent the 2 degrees of warming ‘danger threshold’ for the planet.


Thank you to Ed Gillespie from Futerra for sharing this with us!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s