ClimateView will help cities turbocharge climate action and respond to calls from the UN to “push further and faster” by giving them free access from today to cutting edge technology that helps them plan their best route to net zero.
In the wake of the COP26 Glasgow climate summit, the Swedish technology company has partnered with Microsoft and environmental non-profit CDP to offer cities worldwide a platform to help them define a comprehensive strategy to cut emissions and accelerate action to meet their climate targets.
ClimateView is making available functionality that removes barriers that prevent cities taking swift action, and CDP and Microsoft will promote it through their networks. The ClimateOS platform enables cities to set science-based carbon targets and identify the best way to meet them. It creates a digital twin city, reflecting the complexity of each city’s unique economy, and models the impact of dozens of separate low-carbon transitions across a range of sectors.
Newcastle, Cincinnati, Mannheim and Bern are among more than 35 cities and municipalities that are already using the ClimateOS platform in the UK, US, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain and Canada.
“Cities are where the climate battle will largely be won or lost,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said last month, calling on them to “push further and faster.” He said: “The choices that will be made on urban infrastructure in the coming decades – on construction, housing, energy efficiency, power generation and transport – will have tremendous influence on the emissions curve.”
Tomer Shalit, ClimateView Founder and Chief Product Officer, said: “Governments’ climate pledges are not enough to avoid dangerous climate change and cities are stepping up to fill the gap. We want to turbocharge climate action by giving cities free access to a platform where they can plan, simulate and execute coordinated measures to cut carbon emissions across their whole economy.”
Cities are central to meeting global climate targets. They are home to more than half the world’s population and generate 70% of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. More than 1,000 cities and local governments with a population of 722 million have pledged to reach net zero by 2050.
But cities have complex economies and planning effective action is challenging. They must understand emissions from numerous activities and develop comprehensive plans to decarbonise key sectors such as transport, buildings, industry, energy and waste.
CDP has set up a framework for cities worldwide to disclose their environmental impact. In 2020, 812 cities disclosed emissions and 67% had citywide inventories of their emissions. But over half (51%) had no climate action plan, only 18% had set targets aligned with 1.5°C, and just 6% had set interim targets for cutting emissions.
Kyra Appleby, CDP Global Director Cities, States and Regions, said: “Cities are on the front line of climate change. In many countries their climate targets are more ambitious than national commitments but they need support to decarbonise rapidly. We are confident that ClimateView will help global cities reporting to CDP to take a system-wide approach to implementing science-based climate strategies, and we look forward to driving transparency and action together.”
Microsoft has 20 years’ experience of developing smart city solutions that use data and digital technology to make cities more sustainable, and it will promote ClimateOS to its city partners.
José Antonio Ondiviela, Microsoft Western Europe Government / Smart Cities Solutions Director, said: “All over the world cities are using new technology and data to improve residents’ lives, provide better services and support thriving businesses. We know there is strong demand for smart city solutions to address the huge challenge of decarbonisation, and ClimateView’s platform is designed to support cities through a successful net zero transition.”
ClimateView announced at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona that it is making the critical analysis functionality within its platform free for cities to plan climate strategy. From today cities can sign up to use the ClimateOS Analysis toolkit, which offers a unique range of benefits that help accelerate climate action:
- Understanding emissions. City emissions inventories are often based on extrapolations from national data which can be up to two years old and do not reflect actions the city is taking. The toolkit enables cities to understand the activities that generate their emissions and gather an evidence base that reflects their actual circumstances. This enables cities to understand priorities for action and make concrete plans to reduce emissions from each activity.
- Building strategy. The toolkit uses mathematical models to build a digital twin city, reflecting its current economy and emissions. This recreates the complexity of real life and allows cities to explore the impact of multiple carbon-cutting initiatives and how they interact. It enables them to identify a comprehensive strategy to meet their target that is tailored to the needs of their city, and to ensure that they maintain a thriving economy through their low-carbon transition.
- Setting carbon budgets. The most progressive cities go beyond net zero pledges and set science-based targets based on carbon budgets, that reflect the city’s fair share of future emissions within the 1.5°C Paris climate target. The toolkit will tell a city what its business as usual emissions are and how fast it needs to reduce them to stay within its carbon budget to meet its Paris Agreement commitment.
- Cutting workload. The toolkit frees up time to focus on planning strategy. It provides cities with the best available data, saving time gathering and managing information and reducing the risk of errors. It simplifies reporting, making it easy to compile data to disclose against different frameworks.
The ClimateOS Analysis toolkit will allow cities to develop and implement a cross-sector climate strategy to meet their targets. It helps them navigate the complexity of their transition by breaking down their citywide economy into 80 manageable transition elements. Each represents a shift to a low-carbon way of meeting a specific need, such as moving from petrol and diesel cars to electric vehicles. Cities can then plan actions to drive each shift, such as subsidising EV purchases and building charging infrastructure.
Cities will be under no obligation to upgrade to the paid-for ClimateOS toolkits which offer additional functionality.
- The ClimateOS Collaboration toolkit gives access to multiple users across different city departments, providing a single platform on which they can manage their transition to a net zero economy, integrating targets, plans and budgets. This encourages collaboration and decision-making at speed and scale. It also provides interactive tools and dashboards that help build broad support for action, allowing a range of stakeholders to understand and engage with the strategy.
- The ClimateOS Implementation toolkit, currently in beta testing, will help cities make the business case for action and secure investment. It will enable them to identify the costs of each of the numerous shifts they can take to cut emissions – from encouraging uptake of EVs to retrofitting old buildings to make them more energy efficient – and their co-benefits, such as better health through cleaner air and warmer homes.
The ClimateOS platform is informed by ClimateView’s work developing Panorama, a climate dashboard that the Swedish government uses to make its decarbonisation plans publicly available. ClimateView built it for the Swedish Climate Policy Council, the independent body which assesses whether government policy is in line with its climate goals.