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Missions

Countering Climate Change

While many might argue that we have been too slow to act on climate change, a growing number of countries are finally making commitments to reduce carbon emissions within the next few decades. It’s a huge task, requiring ambitious actions starting right now. The stakes could not be higher. If we continue to pump out the emissions that cause global warming, this inaction threatens the lives and livelihoods of people everywhere.

Net zero by 2050 is one much-quoted goal. Even more importantly, we need to counter the impacts of climate change, not just offset the damage. But this requires big changes, and this means bold decisions being taken by governments and some of the largest global corporations and fund-holders. These big decisions need excellent data – where to act, how to act, knowing whether we are making a difference and picking the highest priority moves.

Bold decisions are made possible with good data. And on the flip side, indecision is created if we deliver inadequate data by creating a compliance-focused industry of meaningless environmental reporting.

  With better data, governments and corporates have the certainty to enact bold and sweeping change. With better data, entrepreneurs find the inspiration and the direction to build new solutions to the challenge. With better data, consumers, citizens, and investors can vote with their feet and their wallets, to encourage economies to change.

What we’re doing

Creating actionable signals means, for example, mobilising the best research on extracting new insights from satellite and other geoscience data, and applying that to live commercial or public policy questions. It might also mean building simulations, synthetic data and predictive algorithms to understand how consumers may respond to climate-related incentives.

Views from space

We are working with academics who understand how satellite data can be better interpreted to reveal patterns of activity on the planet’s surface that indicate positive or negative climate change activity e.g., new trees being planted, methane emissions being reduced, CO2 sinks being deployed.

Enriching sandbox environments

We are supporting innovation in new ESG-related FinTechs by creating sources of synthetic data for those businesses to test their business models against. We recently worked with the FCA on their TechSprint designed to support the development of new businesses that could create better ESG data.

Get in touch

nick.hall@ed.ac.uk would love to hear from you to find out how you can help us on this mission.