Transparent Environmental Data

Climate Change is impacting natural and human systems with loss of key ecosystems, increased storm, floods and wildfire frequencies being among the most well-known examples. Unfortunately, we are not all equal in the face of Climate Change. Developing countries will endure the strongest repercussions and, undoubtedly, Climate Change will increase the already severe inequalities existing between developed and developing countries. However, to efficiently tackle a global issue such as Climate Change, we need to find solutions that will bridge gaps between countries, increase international collaborations while implement changes that are in agreement with the United Nations Sustainable Goals including providing quality education for all, securing key industry innovations and reducing inequalities. Therefore, it is essential that climate related scientific data is openly and freely shared across all countries and users. Open data sharing will ensure that
(1) research efforts will no more be limited by access to data, especially in developing countries where funding to gather/access data is limited.
(2) outreach and communication to the wider public can be based on freely accessible datasets and encourage the development of citizen science projects.
(3) data transparency becomes a norm, limiting the propagation of harmful misinformation on Climate Change.
To implement this crucial intervention, strong policy is needed to force Governmental agencies and private companies to share all environmental data collected (as part of the environmental impact assessment process for example) along with relevant metadata on online portals. Already existing repositories can be used such as EmodNET, Copernicus or GEOSS, making this intervention scalable and achievable in a short time scale. Research has shown that working culture is a strong barrier to open data sharing in the public and private sector. A change in behaviour is needed and open-data sharing is a crucial step in tackling Climate Change while bridging equality gaps between nations.

 

Actor(s)

Government

 

Trigger (intervention)

 

Criticality

 

Feedback Dynamics

 

Timescale and scaleability

 

Resistance

 

Author

Johanne Vad

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