This past Thursday Deutsche Bank unveiled a seven-story digital sign that continuously tallies the total amount of carbon emissions in the atmosphere.
The billboard hangs on the side of Madison Square Garden in the heart of Manhattan, where passersby are persistently reminded of our constant greenhouse gas emissions, the bank said in a June 18 press release. So far the counter has registered 3.64 trillion metric tons, which is the highest it has been in 800,000 years, and adds 800 more tons every second.
The clock, developed by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the first carbon counting sign of its kind. Deutsche Bank says that bringing this emission measurement down to people on the street will help raise awareness about global warming and spark public debate on ways we can reduce our carbon emissions.
Deutsche Bank is involved in many sustainable practices and projects, such as investing in emission-reducing technologies and conducting research on tradable greenhouse emission permits. They see our climate crisis as not just a social issue but as an opportunity for business and economic growth. The bank hopes to promote this environment-economy relationship through its emissions counter.
Because the United Nations only puts out reports on climate change every five to six years it is difficult to assess the data relevantly, Reuters said reporting on the event. Deutsche Bank global head Kevin Parker told reporters, “If you flipped on one of the news channels that covers the financial news ... and there was a number that was updating once every five years, the commentators would have a hard time finding something to talk about.”
The New York sign is lit by thousands of low-energy light emitting diodes, the bank’s press release said. The Carbon Counter Number is available 24 hours a day and updates will be available on Twitter. A widget displaying the Carbon Counter’s Number can also be downloaded.