Warning signals calling for urgent and unprecedented changes to all aspects of society abound. From extreme weather events to rising sea levels and severe droughts that disproportionately affect vulnerable communities and threaten your morning cup of coffee — the rate of warming caused by human activities is speeding up twice as fast as predicted and everyone needs to act. Yet effective climate action calls for a coordinated response across societies, underpinned by shared information.
As countries take action in response to climate change, how we collect, share and use data will be essential to understand risks, track progress and enable informed action. Open data can be a very useful tool to empower people to understand climate trends and develop solutions towards common goals. A framework to share and publish climate information can encourage coordination across government agencies and help break organisational silos.
The Open Data Charter and the World Resources Institute partnered to consult with climate experts in which key data types should be considered when investing in open data infrastructures and how they may inform smart climate policies. This beta guide to Open Up Climate Data gives an overview of crucial information we need to respond to climate needs.
While the guide does not contain an exhaustive list of climate data types for tracking and reporting, it is meant to provide a starting point for local stakeholders to prioritize access to the most important data types according to their contexts and foster more robust collaboration among diverse sectors and actors, a fundamental ingredient in the climate change agenda given its intersectionality.