10 Nov

Introducing OpenClimate: An Open Source Nested Accounting Stocktaking Platform


The OpenClimate platform is an open sourced nested accounting platform that is designed to digitally-enable the independent global stocktake.

Some Background - why did we build this open-sourced stocktaking platform?

The successful implementation of the Paris Agreement goals depend on the ratcheting of global ambition. The Agreement includes a Global Stocktake mechanism, which assesses collective progress toward the outlined goals on a once-every-five-year basis. Informed by the Global Stocktake assessment results, all the involved countries negotiate and update their nationally determined contributions (documents that describe their pledges or NDCs) to accelerate action and in turn continue to increase the level of ambition. The first Global Stocktake (GST) takes place in 2023, and is slated to occur every five years. 

In order to support the Global Stocktake, OpenEarth has been working closely with our partners at the Data Driven Lab (DDL) through our Climate Action Data 2.0 community on an initiative to digitally-enable the independent global stocktake (DIGS).  The current model of stocktaking relies on spreadsheets, PDFs, and unverified data. However, there are currently many digital technologies that could increase innovation in the development of data infrastructure and therefore improve the data that’s used for stocktaking and additionally, the aggregated insights available. 

Fragmentation causes inefficiencies in the climate data accounting, underlying the Global Stocktake. Many countries' stocktaking mechanisms rely on manual processes to assemble and standardize their inventories, leading to lengthy and costly procedures. The Global Stocktake design does not provide information on how to include data of subnational governments and companies. Infrastructure needs to be built to allow decentralized data to connect to enable smart, accurate insight for prioritization for increasing ambition.

Nesting the climate accounting of company and subnational data under its relevant countries is an approach–championed through the CAD2.0 community--that enables interoperability. In order to do this, many different frameworks need to be matched up which requires a great deal of data harmonization. OpenClimate is built to allow the cohesion of data from cities, states, provinces, municipalities, and companies to cross reference country information. By nesting the accounting, it also makes data more transparent and accounts for double counting. The term nested accounting has recently been written into the UNFCCC Article 6.4 Supervisory Body citing a recent paper authored by those from DDL and OpenEarth. 

“Furthermore, to avoid double-counting the concept of “nested accounting” – where emissions are accounted for at one level of analysis … and are factored into emissions at a higher level of analysis … has been proposed. The nested accounting approach collects data at the smallest unit of analysis (i.e., the project) within nested jurisdictions and then rolls up into higher aggregation levels such as national inventories and submitted to international frameworks. To address the issue of assigning the emissions to the correct jurisdiction, the nested accounting data shall be spatially referenced at the source through geotagging and timestamping.”

The OpenClimate nested accounting platform allows users to navigate emissions inventories and climate pledges of different actors at every level, aggregating data from various public sources for countries, regions, cities and companies. 

OpenClimate currently enables the comparison of how different data sources report emissions of certain actors, by harmonizing the way data is reported and identifying the different methodologies used. Additionally, by nesting actors into their respective jurisdictions it facilitates the comparison between the pledges these actors have committed to, and to see if they are aligned towards the same climate targets, and how these compare to the goals of the Paris Agreement.

By aggregating data and exploring it in this nested manner, it also allows for the effective identification of data gaps for these actors, suggesting where efforts are needed to identify existing data sources or help produce new inventories. When data gaps are identified, the platform also prompts users to contribute data based on the open and standardized data model used to aggregate emissions and pledges data.

Visit the website: https://openclimate.network/

or Check out the video highlighting the main features of the platform

OpenClimate is an open source and collaborative project. All the software code is open to be inspected and improved by the general public, and that the data is also openly available. We invite the climate data community to provide relevant data sources, either developed through their own data efforts (for example for subnational actors, or from academic publications) or identified third party data that would cover a data gap or augment the existing actor data.

We want to collectively build a platform to assess global progress toward the Paris Agreement, so we invite the open source community to contribute to the platform with code, fixes, and ideas, and other organizations working on the same or similar challenges to collaborate with us and build it together.

OpenEarth Foundation is a non-profit focused on radical collaboration and works to enable greater impact towards fighting climate change and progress towards planetary regeneration. Therefore, we invite any individual developer or organization to adapt or reuse any part of our code for any purpose that is aligned with our mission.

To learn how to contribute visit our OpenClimate Contributor's Guide

Sign up for the OpenClimate newsletter for updates and calls for collaboration.

You can also request to join the DIGS community slack channel by contacting us at climatedata@openearth.org

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