Finland's Lahti pilots world's first personal carbon trading app

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-11 23:49:09|Editor: huaxia
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HELSINKI, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- With the ongoing testing of a mobile phone application (app), Lahti in Finland is the first city in the world to experiment with a personal carbon trading scheme, exploring new ideas and methods for energy saving, emissions reduction and environmental protection.

The mobile phone application, called CitiCAP, is easy to install and operate.

"It can detect the user's travel modes in real time, identify the user's transportation according to the speed, and calculate the corresponding carbon emissions, time and distance travelled," project manager Anna Huttunen said.

"By choosing sustainable travel modes, such as walking, cycling or public transport, the user can earn virtual credits, then they can exchange them into sustainable services in the marketplace of the application," she said.

The app is promoted by the city of Lahti, which aims to enhance its Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) process. SUMPs contribute to reaching the European Union's climate and energy targets.

Lahti residents can volunteer to participate in the testing. Once they become users, they receive their personal carbon budget for mobility.

"We developed this application in order to involve people in reducing carbon emissions through practical actions and to turn Lahti into a more sustainable city. Meanwhile, the application also gives interesting data about the users' health as it keeps track of how much they walk or cycle," said Huttunen.

The app has been in the testing phase since September this year. Currently, there are more than 300 volunteer users, and this number is steadily increasing. It is expected to reach 1,300 by the beginning of 2020, accounting for about one percent of Lahti's population. Later, shops and companies will also be involved in the scheme, according to Huttunen.

"I use it because I want to be part of this environmental work we are doing in Lahti, and I also want to follow how much carbon emission I produce when moving," said Riina Puusaari, one of the application's users.

She told Xinhua that the app is very easy to use. "You don't have to actually use it yourself, it follows you around on your phone and automatically does the calculations."

According to the city of Lahti, its SUMP will combine emissions reduction with urban transport planning. A smart bicycle highway, designed to be safe and comfortable for the cyclists, will be constructed next year.

In June this year, Lahti was awarded the title of "European Green Capital" of 2021 by the European Commission in recognition of its achievements in sustainable development. Enditem