Deutsche Bank launches world’s first real-time carbon counter that displays greenhouse gases in the atmosphere
New “Know the Number” Climate Change Landmark Unveiled in the Heart of New York City
New York, June 18, 2009, Deutsche Bank’s Asset Management division (DeAM) today launched the world’s first scientifically valid, real-time carbon counter, a nearly 70-foot-tall digital billboard displaying the running total of long-lived greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The counter began operating in the heart of New York City at 33rd Street and 7th Avenue, outside Madison Square Garden and Penn Station. Kevin Parker, Global Head of DeAM and a member of Deutsche Bank’s Group Executive Committee, switched on the counter at a ceremony this morning.
The Carbon Counter and “Know the Number” campaign is part of a groundbreaking climate-change awareness and education initiative sponsored by DB Climate Change Advisors group (DBCCA), DeAM’s institutional climate change investment and research business. The belief that information catalyzes action underpins the Carbon Counter’s creation. The “Number” on the Carbon Counter is based on measurements developed by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that include all long-lived greenhouse gases covered under the Kyoto and Montreal Protocols (24 gases excluding ozone and aerosols).
“Carbon in the atmosphere has reached an 800,000-year high,” said Parker. “We can’t see greenhouse gases, so it is easy to forget that they are accumulating rapidly. It will be a huge task to bring global emissions under control and my hope is that putting this data in the public view will spur both governments and markets to move us more quickly to a low-carbon economy. The science shows that unless this trend is addressed now there is a growing likelihood of increased warming and more severe disruptions for economies and societies.”
“The Carbon Counter is a bold new experiment in communicating climate science to the public,” said Ronald Prinn, Professor of Atmospheric Science, MIT. “With climate change in the news around the world, it is useful to have an up-to-date estimate of a single integrating number expressing the trends in the long-lived greenhouse gases contributing to that change. This number can help convey how fast these greenhouse gases are increasing, and the progress, or lack thereof, in slowing the rate of increase. The number on the Counter is based on global measurements. It shows the total estimated tonnage of these gases expressed as their equivalent amounts of carbon dioxide, with seasonal and other natural cyclical variations removed to more clearly reveal the underlying long term trends driven by human and other activity. It is indeed a number to watch.”
The current quantity of long-lived greenhouse gases in the atmosphere as shown by the Carbon Counter is 3.64 trillion metric tons, increasing by approximately 2 billion metric tons per month. According to an evolving consensus of scientists, as this trend continues there is an increasing probability that a series of macro-climatic shifts will set up a self-sustaining cycle of rapid climate change.
Using work from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2007 Fourth Assessment Report as a starting point, DBCCA collaborated with scientists at MIT to track greenhouse gases in the most timely and up-to-date manner possible. This process relies on regular measurement of long-lived greenhouse gas concentration data from equipment operated in dozens of locations around the world by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA’s Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment, run by Prinn. The carbon counter’s real-time display is a running projection of the current quantities based on the latest measurements available. The projection is recalibrated every month as new data are received.
The Carbon Counter sign itself is carbon neutral, using low-risk carbon credits (CERs) to offset its energy use while the digital numbers are generated by low-energy light emitting diodes (LEDs). A Venus 7000 display controller is being used to communicate the greenhouse gas concentration data to the digital display which is imbedded in the billboard, which contains 40,960 LEDs.
The Carbon Counter Number is available 24 hours a day at http://www.know-the-number.com/ and updates will be available at http://twitter.com/knowthenumber. A widget displaying the Carbon Counter’s Number can also be downloaded from the website. The site also features a webcast of the launch ceremony along with a webcast of a panel discussion on climate change held today in conjunction with the event. Speakers include noted climate change experts Robert Socolow of Princeton University, John Reilly of MIT, Tim Wirth of the UN Foundation, Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University and Fred Krupp from the Environmental Defense Fund.
DeAM is one of the leading climate change investors in the world, with approximately $4 billion under management as of March 2009. With a world-class in-house research team focusing on this theme, DeAM is an investment industry thought-leader on a broad range of climate change dynamics. DeAM recently created DBCCA, an institutional and alternatives investment management business, to manage assets of institutional investors and high net worth individuals.
In 2008 Deutsche Bank set a target to reduce its global carbon emissions by 20 percent annually and is committed to being carbon-neutral from 2013 onward. More information is available at http://www.banking-on-green.com/.
About Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank - NYSE: DB - is a leading global investment bank with a strong and profitable private clients franchise. A leader in Germany and Europe, the bank is continuously growing in North America, Asia and key emerging markets. With 80,277 employees in 72 countries, Deutsche Bank competes to be the leading global provider of financial solutions for demanding clients creating exceptional value for its shareholders and people.
About Deutsche Asset Management With approximately $613 billion in assets under management globally (as of 30 March 2009), Deutsche Bank’s Asset Management division is one of the world’s leading investment management organizations, not just in size, but in quality and breadth of investment products, performance and client service. The Asset Management division provides a broad range of investment management products across the risk/return spectrum.
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