As we look back on our participation at the COP28 conference in Dubai, the OpenEarth Foundation's presence and contributions were not only significant, but also marked a pivotal point in our journey. Led by our Executive Director and Founder, Martin Wainstein, our team engaged in crucial discussions, showcasing our innovative solutions and forging vital partnerships.
A Milestone Event: COP28 and the Global Stocktake
The significance of COP28 for the Open Earth Foundation was underscored by its alignment with the first Global Stocktake (GST) of the Paris Agreement. This large-scale event was a crucial opportunity for the world to assess progress on climate pledges and raise ambition for future actions. Our involvement in COP28 was particularly momentous due to our focus on developing open digital infrastructure to support climate accountability and accounting, notably through our OpenClimate platform.
In conjunction with COP28, we made significant contributions to the Digitally Enabled Independent Global Stocktake (DIGS). By compiling key datasets and visualizations, available at https://digs.openearth.org/, we provided valuable insights into the current state of global climate efforts. DIGS served as a critical tool in objectively assessing progress and identifying gaps in climate action.
Our view of the overall results of COP28 are balanced. While there were advancements in some areas, such as loss and damage, and recognition of the urgent need for more aggressive climate policies, challenges remained. The presence of the oil & gas sector and the pushback from fossil rich countries show many more efforts are needed to agree on a concerted effort to phase out fossil fuels. Furthermore, the importance of technological, AI and data innovation, like the tools developed by Open Earth Foundation, was emphasized as a key factor in meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Our participation in COP28, particularly in the context of the GST, reinforced our commitment to driving meaningful climate action through global digital and data infrastructure. It also underscored the critical role of transparent, accessible data in understanding and addressing the complex challenges of decarbonising cities.
At COP28, we proudly announced the prototype of our CityCatalyst platform. This tool represents a major leap forward in supporting cities on their decarbonization paths by leveraging next generation datasets to build city-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories. It embodies our commitment to utilizing technology in climate action, specifically aiding subnationals in mobilizing resources to deploy projects for deep decarbonisation and urban resilience.
Learn more at: www.citycatalyst.openearth.org
Engaging Discussions and Panels
Our participation spanned a variety of events and discussions, each emphasizing different facets of climate action and collaboration:
-Climate Tech Session with BMW Foundation: We joined a panel with other climate tech startups, discussing innovations and future prospects in climate technology.
-Scaling Resilient Climate Solutions Panel: Here, we delved into the disruptive potential of AI in climate action, highlighting OpenEarth's contributions.
-New Business Models and Innovative Finance Strategies Panel: This discussion focused on CityCatalyst and our efforts to drive climate solution deployment in cities through innovative finance strategies.
-Radical Collaborations Panel: As part of the 'Systemic Climate Action Collaborative', we explored breaking finance silos to deliver on the climate agenda, discussing a plan to deploy $1b over the next decade through systemic collaboration.
-Carbon Residency Gathering: An intimate event with key climate action leaders, fostering discussions under the Chatham House Rule.
-Systems Change Reception: Hosted by ClimateKIC, we participated in key discussions on collaborative strategies in the messy middle of systems change.
-Building Urban Resilience Panel: A conversation on digitization and AI's role in accelerating climate finance in cities. Hosted by Startup Nation.
-Accelerating Sustainability Solutions Panel: Focusing on the role of advanced data and AI in sustainability, in collaboration with the Global Covenant of Mayors.
-Roundtable with UAE on AI Applications for Cities: An exclusive event, planning a pilot for Dubai or Abu Dhabi using high-tech solutions like CityCatalyst.
Finalists of the COP28 UAE Tech Sprint
We participated in the first ever COP Tech Sprint, hosted by the Bank of International Settlements and the UAE Central Bank. We presented the CityCatalyst platform and its use of advanced satellite IoT data and AI for data harmonization in the compilation of GHG inventories, a key aspect to drive innovative finance. We were proud to be selected as the 15 finalists from 126 submissions for which we received a $15k stipend from the organizing organizations.
Learn more and read the full report here >
As we move forward from COP28, the Open Earth Foundation is energized and more committed than ever to drive impactful climate solutions. Our experiences in Dubai have underscored the importance of collaborative action and innovative technologies in addressing climate challenges. The connections we've made and the discussions we've participated in at COP28 have not only validated our current projects, but have also opened new pathways for future endeavors.
Our participation in panels and roundtable discussions highlighted the need for more adaptive, resilient solutions in urban and rural settings alike. The CityCatalyst platform, in particular, received significant attention for its potential to revolutionize climate action in cities. This platform is a testament to our belief that digital technology and AI can play a transformative role in climate finance and data management.
The fundraising conversations and pilot opportunities discussed at COP28 are especially promising. They reflect a growing recognition of the importance of our work and the potential for broader impact. The prospects of collaboration with organizations like the Hewlett Foundation, Google.org, Bloomberg Philanthropy, and Schmidt Futures not only bring in new resources but also invaluable expertise to our initiatives.
Our potential pilot cities, spread across diverse locations like LA County, the UAE, and Argentina, are set to demonstrate the scalability and adaptability of our solutions. These projects, combined with the data and partnerships fostered at COP28, position us to make a significant impact in the climate tech space.
As we reflect on our time in Dubai, we're filled with a sense of purpose and optimism. The conversations and connections made at COP28 are just the beginning. We are excited to continue our work, bolstered by new partnerships and inspired by the global community's commitment to climate action. The Open Earth Foundation is more ready than ever to lead the charge in harnessing technology for a sustainable and resilient future.
Stay tuned to our blog and social media channels for updates on our projects and initiatives post-COP28. The journey continues, and we're grateful to have a global community with us as we work towards a sustainable future for all.