Microsoft, Clinton develop emissions tracking software

Microsoft is working with the Clinton Foundation to develop free software that cities will be able to use to track their carbon emissions.

Microsoft will work with the Clinton Foundation to develop free Web-based software and services that cities around the world can use to monitor their carbon emissions and share ideas about environmental protection.

The announcement, made on Thursday, comes a day after former President Clinton said his foundation would finance the renovation of buildings in 16 cities in different parts of the world to make them more environmentally friendly.

Cities will be able to use the online software to better understand their environmental impact and to participate in an online community, sharing ideas and best practices and collaborating. The software will allow users to monitor their progress and track the effectiveness of emissions reduction programs. It will be compatible with some existing emissions reduction products, but Microsoft didn't list which ones.

Microsoft will collaborate with two environmental organizations, the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives and the Center for Neighborhood Technology, building on their research and experience. The ICLEI has already built emissions reduction products used by 1,000 cities.

Microsoft hopes that the software, if broadly used, will give cities a common measurement system for monitoring emissions. It will let cities analyze potential projects, estimating their effect on the environment. Users will also be able to create reports and access data from other cities that also use the software.

The Microsoft software and services will become available at the end of the year to cities that the Clinton Foundation determines are working on cutting down their carbon emissions.

In addition to the project announced this week, the Clinton Foundation last year launched a consortium of 40 of the largest cities around the world that are working to fight global warming.

Clinton's foundation delivers health care to underserved regions, works to bring economic growth to Africa and fights climate change.