Data for Climate Action: Global Pulse at COP21

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This week and next, negotiators and world leaders gather in Paris for the 21st Conference of the Parties on climate change (COP21) with the aim of reaching a new global climate agreement. Business, academia, and civil society will all be present in Paris to discuss new commitments and opportunities for climate action.

To demonstrate how a data revolution can help drive climate action, UN Global Pulse is hosting "Data for Climate Action", an open innovation campaign to unlock new sources of big data and harness the power of data science to accelerate climate action.

UN Global Pulse, as well as several other champions of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, will be involved in a number of events at COP21, highlighting the importance of a data revolution for accelerating climate action, and fostering cooperation around big data innovation to develop new climate solutions.

A roundup of events includes:

Place to B: Data for Climate

Wednesday 2 December 2015 (open to the public & live-streamed)

The “Place to B” serves as a hub for civil society and media during COP21.  A co-working and convening space as well as a venue for thematic events, Place to B offers a unique forum for public discussion and dialogue on climate change.

During the “Data for Climate” thematic event to be held on Wednesday 2 December UN Global Pulse Director Robert Kirkpatrick will join experts from MIT Climate Interactive, Orange telecom, the City of Paris Climate Agency and Etalab, the French Prime Minister’s taskforce for Open Data, for an interactive discussion on data and climate policymaking. The event will also showcase environmental data visualizations, and speakers will respond to questions from both live and web audiences.

The webcast can be viewed from 2:00pm to 4:30pm Paris time at: #P2Bcop21

Climate Change Resilience in the Age of Data: A COP21 Side Event

Friday 4 December 2015

This COP21 side event will bring together researchers and practitioners to explore the challenges and opportunities of leveraging new data sources and analytical approaches to enhance the resilience of developing communities and countries. The day-long workshop has been organized by by the Data-Pop Alliance of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and the MIT Media Lab and Overseas Development Institute, and is hosted by the Agence française de développement (AFD) and the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID). More info and agenda available here. #COP21Data

"How Can Data Accelerate Climate Action?” at Caring for Climate Business Forum

Monday 7 December 2015 (by invitation)

UN Global Pulse is hosting a special session on data at the Caring for Climate Business Forum, the premier private sector event held annually at the UNFCCC Conference of Parties. This year, the event will be attended by approximately 700 participants, with around 450 CEOs. The programme will feature new data philanthropy announcements by companies, alongside a showcase of efforts by the public sector to apply new and open data to accelerate climate action. The session will also consider challenges in developing such an ecosystem of data use, including data privacy and access, and ways that these challenges have been, and can be, addressed. The event will be held in the Climate Generations space of the COP21 venue in Paris-Le Bourget.

More information available here. #Caring4Climate #COP21

Climate Services as a Global Public Good: International Collaboration, Science, and Data Innovation

Monday 7 December 2015 (by invitation & live-streamed)

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) will host a side event on data at the US Center at COP21. Communities across the globe are increasingly struggling to manage climate-related risks, such as floods, drought, heat waves, wildfires and storms. Many of these events are projected to intensify or become more frequent as global temperature continues to rise. In the face of these growing risks the provision of accessible, relevant, reliable and timely climate information (“climate services”) is essential for safeguarding health, property, and livelihoods. This event will explain what climate services are, explore the critical role of science, data innovation, and international collaboration in the provision of these services. It will also highlight the value of climate services as a global public good. Examples will be provided on how the U.S. is collaborating with international partners to build regional and national resilience through climate services. UN Global Pulse Director Robert Kirkpatrick will participate as an expert panelist. More information about the programme and agenda here.

The event will be livestreamed from 3:45pm-4:45pm Paris time at:

New Technologies, Innovative Data Sources: Managing Disasters in Developing Countries

Wednesday 9 December 2015

This PARIS21 event on data for disaster risk management aims at addressing the role of new technologies and the use of innovative sources of data in the management of natural disasters and catastrophic events. To better manage disasters and their impacts, governments and the aid community can increasingly rely on new technologies and new sources of data such, including mobile phones, drones, biometric scanners or wearable devices. Yet this increasing abundance of information also creates challenges. In particular, national authorities need to strengthen existing human, technical and institutional capacities to make use of these new data flows and integrate them into existing systems – a process for which especially developing countries potentially lack financial resources. The event will feature panel presentations followed by discussion and questions. More information about the event here.

“Big Data Innovation for Sustainable Development Action“ at the WBCSD Council Meeting

Friday 10 December 2015

The World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is a CEO-led, global association of international companies dealing exclusively with business and sustainable development. The WBCSD council meeting being held on the sidelines of COP21 in Paris from December 7-10 is designed to foster cross-sector collaboration for sustainability. The meeting will include a session on “Big Data Innovation for Sustainable Development Action“ UN Global Pulse Director Robert Kirkpatrick will speak at the meeting on how big data can be harnessed for sustainable development. More information:

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