CLIMATE CHANGE DATA
Playing by the Paris Rulebook:
What Countries Need to Do Now to Measure Their Climate Change Goals
Lorenz Noe and Martin Getzendanner
30 October 2022
To make progress on climate change, countries need to know how to measure their climate change goals and how to spur innovation both in the collection and use of climate change data. Currently, data on pollution (CO2 emissions and other pollutants) are among the least available and least open. At the same time, countries face huge reporting burdens from overlapping monitoring frameworks that, although necessary to monitor, mitigate, and adapt to climate change, require governance and resources that many countries just don’t have.
In this context, a meeting hosted by the Global Government Forum on 20 October took an in-depth look at “Playing by the Paris Rulebook – what countries need to do now to measure their climate change goals.” In December 2015, world leaders mapped out a vision for a zero-carbon future. The resulting Paris Agreement set long-term goals for limiting emissions and adapting to the impacts of climate change. The associated timetables for countries and implementation guidelines, negotiated in 2018, are colloquially called the Paris Rulebook.
Presentations at the Global Government Forum covered a number of aspects. The importance and challenges of measuring climate impacts and contributions at the local level, such as for cities and companies, was raised by nZero. The UK framework for monitoring progress, including what an enabling environment looks like for private investment into green projects, was presented by The Climate Change Committee. Guatemala reported on improving the quality of their climate data, updating their NDC, and establishing a new Climate Change Council that brings together government, civil society (including indigenous peoples), academia, and the private sector to discuss and coordinate climate change issues.
Open Data Watch emphasized the importance of making climate change data open and accessible to spur innovation. Using the results of the Open Data Inventory (ODIN) concerning environmental statistics and pollution indicators, the ODW presentation showed how an enabling environment for climate change data and open data can help deal with harmonizing understanding and use of the many transparency and monitoring frameworks. For example, open data can help at the country level (as in Uruguay) to ease interoperability hurdles for producing indicators and at the international level to share country data more effectively.
Looking to the future, there is clearly a need for assistance to countries that have capacity issues, for more countries to publish more of their emissions data as open data (as already done through global efforts like UNFCCC), and for more attention to be given to creating country-level ecosystems for climate change data.
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