The Climate Data Challenge The Critical Role of Open-Source and Neutral Data Platforms

In the face of escalating climate change impacts, the demand for robust climate data has surged among various stakeholders, including financial institutions, market participants, and regulators. These data are critical for conducting comprehensive climate risk assessments, enhancing reporting and disclosure quality, and underpinning effective climate mitigation and adaptation strategies.

However, significant hurdles persist, notably in data availability, quality, comparability, and timeliness, compounded by the high costs of data acquisition. These challenges hinder effective climate risk and opportunity assessments, underscoring the need for accessible and reliable climate data. The report explores the challenges that companies, including financial institutions, could face in relation to climate data.

In essence, the report seeks to answer the following key questions:

  • How can we bridge these gaps and overcome the obstacles in data challenges?
  • How could the development of free, open-source, and neutral data platforms present possible solutions to not only enhance the quality of climate risk data but also ensure its effective integration into business decision-making and disclosures?
  • How can collaborative efforts fuel these platforms?

Using Dataland as an example, among other similar initiatives such as Net-Zero Data Public Utility and OS-Climate, the report discusses how developing free, neutral, and open-source data platforms that facilitate the collection and presentation of company-specific raw data could present potential solutions. The guiding premise here is that the collection and presentation of raw data would remove potential bias and enhance information transparency. Combining feedback from members of the UNEP FI Dataland Working Group (WG), which operates under Phase III of UNEP FI’s Climate Tools for Risks and Opportunities Working Group, the report examines the potential use cases and limitations of such a neutral, open-source data platform. By way of conclusion, it highlights user-preferred features in similar platforms, offering insights to guide their future development.


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