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Leading corporates join open data project to tackle the climate crisis

by Mike Jones in Other Cat 04/09/2020

A number of leading corporates including Amazon, Allianz, Microsoft and S&P Global are heading a new project to combine AI, open-source analytics and open data to enhance the management of climate risks and take advantage of the new opportunities within the net-zero transition.

Managed by the non-profit organisation the Linux Foundation, the LF Climate Finance Foundation (LFCF) intends to enable investors, banks, insurers, businesses and NGOs to utilise AI-driven data, allowing businesses to manage the financial implications related with climate change.

The LFCF intends to create an open-source climate data platform referred to as the OS Climate, incorporating a number of physical and economic risk scenarios and a series of financial and economic models.

With a greater level of data, the goal is for members to work together towards delivering predictive analytical tools and investment products that are capable of managing climate-related risk and finance climate solutions across multiple areas. The Linux Foundation highlights that there is a clear urgency from a number of pensions funds, banks and governments to enable public access to corporate climate and sustainability data needed to support targets laid out in the Paris Agreement, as well as more sophisticated insights to enable better financial decisions.

The planning team of the newly formed foundation includes a number of representatives from green organisations such as WWF and Ceres, who are all expected to be involved in selecting climate-related businesses, infrastructure and capital projects.

Jim Zemlin, the executive director of the Linux Foundation explains that the costs and challenges associated with the analytics for climate-focused investment plans require well-managed teams and resource sharing among many areas. The LF Climate Finance Foundation will allow shared development from a number of leading financial organisations, academia, governments and NGOs.

The LFCF hopes that investors and banks alike will be able to utilise the platform to assess portfolios and separate investments and support the identification of climate risks. Governments could also use the system to measure and identify resilient infrastructure investments and create appropriate policies.

Jennifer Yokoyama, the chief IP counsel at Microsoft explains that in order to address climate issues in an effective manner requires people and businesses to have suitable access to data and a clear understanding of the impacts of their actions. Presenting and sharing relevant sustainability data via the LF Climate Finance Foundation will enhance financial modelling and the overall knowledge of climate change impact.