Climate Watch: Powerful New Platform Offers Comprehensive Data for Climate Action

Press Release
31 October 2017

WASHINGTON (October 31, 2017)– Following through on the landmark Paris Agreement means showing what countries are doing to meet their commitments and how they can ramp up ambition over time. For the first time, Climate Watch will bring together dozens of data sets onto one platform, including current and past greenhouse gas emissions, future emissions scenarios, sustainable development targets, progress towards meeting national climate pledges, information on climate risk and much more. Climate Watch will ensure policymakers and researchers are using the most accurate and comprehensive data for decision-making, and create the accountability and transparency necessary to combat climate change. 

Climate Watch is managed by World Resources Institute (WRI) in collaboration with partners: African Center for Technology Studies (ACTS), Climate Action Tracker, Climate Analytics, the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), the German Development Institute (DIE), Google, NDC Partnership, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the World Bank. A flagship initiative of the NDC Partnership, the platform will be showcased at numerous events and an exhibit during the COP23 climate conference in Bonn, Germany next week.

“Obtaining up-to-date information remains one of the most important aspects in the implementation of NDCs," said Nezha El Ouafi, Secretary of State to Morocco's Minister of Energy, Mines and Sustainable Development and an NDC Partnership co-chair. "Through Climate Watch, the NDC Partnership provides data and resources to countries to achieve their climate and sustainable development goals at the national, regional and international levels."

“Key to the success of the NDC Partnership is the ability to share knowledge and to learn from one another to accelerate climate action,” said Thomas Silberhorn, Parliamentary State Secretary to Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development and an NDC Partnership co-chair. “This task requires comprehensive, up-to-date, and easily accessible data, which is why the Partnership supports tools like Climate Watch. This innovative resource provides fast access to the information countries need to implement their mitigation commitments.”

Climate Watch includes:

There is growing recognition that countries’ developments goals will become unattainable unless climate change is addressed. Aligning climate targets with sustainable development goals is critical to pursue low-carbon economies and build climate resilience in ways that leave no one behind.

"Reliable information is the foundation for sound policymaking no matter what your aim," said Paula Caballero, Global Director, Climate Program, World Resources Institute. "Climate Watch offers a wealth of credible climate data that will prove invaluable for national policymakers to track their progress, identify low-carbon pathways and ultimately drive action. In addition, as the go-to resource for climate data, Climate Watch will foster greater transparency and accountability as countries make progress towards achieving their Paris climate commitments."

According to new WRI research conducted for the NDC Partnership and presented on Climate Watch, climate actions communicated in countries’ NDCs are aligned with 154 of the 169 targets of the SDGs. This is the first time that all NDCs have been mapped against the 169 targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, providing a significant resource for policy-makers looking to understand how to achieve the goals of both agendas. The greatest alignment is in the energy, forest, land use and agriculture sectors, but opportunities were found across all 17 SDGs, including health, transport, and education.

Climate Watch’s emission scenarios tool initially contains emission trajectories for over 60 countries or regions. This resource can help policymakers and researchers determine the most economically advantageous ways to deliver their climate plans and collectively achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. In addition to national-level insights, users can use models on Climate Watch to explore temperature impacts of different emission trajectories. For example, one model shows that if current national targets under the Paris Agreement were achieved, they could limit warming to 2.8 degrees Celsius. This indicates that enhanced efforts are necessary to limit warming to below 2 degrees Celsius or 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Climate Watch builds on the success of WRI’s CAIT Climate Data Explorer which for many years has served as the definitive resource for credible and comparable country-level emissions data for governments, researchers, media outlets and others.

The platform is one of three tools the NDC Partnership has created jointly under its workplan to help countries achieve ambitious climate goals while enhancing sustainable development. The others include the NDC Funding & Initiatives Navigator, a searchable database of financial and technical assistance programs, and the NDC Toolbox Navigator, a database of tools, guidance, and advisory support to help countries implement their NDCs.

"Climate science has long been guiding us toward the need for a zero-carbon future,” said Saleem Van Groenou, Program Manager for Google Earth Outreach. “Businesses like ours have an important role to play in accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy. But rising to the global challenge involves a complex mix of policy, technology, and international cooperation. Climate Watch brings together the global information and tools to understand this challenge and catalyze action."

Funding for this initiative is provided by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), Google, the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, and the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Visit Climate Watch at www.climatewatchdata.org.

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About World Resources Institute
World Resources Institute is a global research organization that spans more than 50 countries, with offices in the United States, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and more. Our more than 700 experts and staff work closely with leaders to turn big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity, and human well-being. Learn more at www.wri.org.

About the NDC Partnership

Launched at COP22 in Marrakesh, the NDC Partnership aims to enhance cooperation so that countries have access to the technical knowledge and financial support they need to achieve large-scale climate and sustainable development targets as quickly and effectively as possible. Learn more at ndcpartnership.org.