7 Jul
2022

A Digitally Enabled Independent Global Stocktake (DIGS)

News

The OpenClimate project aims to create an open source (mitigation) accounting system to limit global warming to 1.5oC, as set out in the Paris Agreement. This global accounting system aims to establish data harmonization and digital interoperability among the currently fragmented national and subnational or non-state actor data systems. For this, OpenClimate leverages emerging technologies, such as blockchain, big data, and machine learning.

We co-create the OpenClimate platform as a community effort. We, the Open Earth Foundation, collaborate with the Data-Driven EnviroLab, as part of the  Climate Action Data 2.0 (CAD2.0) community, which consists of more than 60 climate data expert organizations. The goal of this community is to develop a digitally enabled independent global stocktake (DIGS) to support the Global Stocktake. The DIGS architecture is developed through monthly meetings and networking along three workstreams: data harmonization, policy, and digital infrastructure. 

The Global Stocktake assesses national progress on a once-every-five-year basis. However, despite their recognized importance, cities, subnational governments, and companies (referred to as non-state actors (NSA)) are currently not considered.

The CAD2.0 community addresses this gap through the development of the DIGS architecture. The first iteration of the dashboard built to support DIGS focuses on emissions related to NSAs nested within a countries’ contribution to emissions (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Climate can be nested across the various actor levels (NSAs, state actors, and independent Earth System Observation data) and can lead to accounting integration opportunities

Additionally, OpenClimate is developing “zero knowledge proofs” to preserve data privacy while allowing for transparency within the data aggregation process. Licensing and data privacy are key issues in accurate emissions accounting and using blockchains with verified credentials (VCs) and decentralized digital identifiers (DIDs) it is possible to collect and utilize data that would not otherwise be publicly available (Figure 2). 

Figure 2: Verifying and auditing credentials, or climate data requires three distinct nodes: (1) a holder [a mining company], (2) the verifier [government] and (3) the issuer [an auditor].

The next steps for establishing DIGS are to outline the necessary components required for a system that contributes to ratcheting up ambition for NSAs within the independent global stocktake (iGST) process. Within this outline, we plan to map all the different actors working on different aspects of the system. Our aim at this stage is to continue to network the platform, gauge interest, seek feedback from our key audiences and contribute solutions to federate the fragmented iGST process. 

Figure 3: The ambition loop is the continual increase of the climate goals and action in order to achieve a livable planet. To ratchet up ambition, commitments must turn into binding actions which must have actionable, measurable outcomes.

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