R&D Opportunities for climate action

R&D Opportunities for climate action

The message – and the evidence – are clear. Public participation and local expertise need to be at the forefront of climate action.

The Sixth Assessment Report from the IPCC published in 2023 championed local solutions, especially for successful adaptation in the regions most vulnerable to the climate crisis. Approximately 85 percent of the world’s eight billion people live in countries of the Global South, yet only a tiny fraction of this population are involved in shaping and delivering climate initiatives. Mobilizing more money is of course a critical determinant of whether this can be achieved. But so will our ability to mobilize all the resources of intelligence, the collective skills, talents and capabilities we have at our disposal. Boosting this ability means learning to deliver collective intelligence initiatives designed by and for Global South communities. This includes optimizing technology to work in diverse contexts where data are sparse and infrastructure, including digital infrastructure, is spotty.

In Table Nine we present nine key opportunities for R&D investment. All of them help to elevate local knowledge. These opportunities set an aspirational agenda for the future of collective intelligence for climate. Funders and institutions should use them as a basis for designing new funding and delivery programmes, making sure to evaluate progress and share lessons along the way.

Nine key R&D opportunities categorized by three areas for action

Increase utility of citizen data for climate issues

Invest in collective intelligence for climate decisions and action

Design multi-functional and scalable collective intelligence tools

Apply methods from citizen-led experiments in agriculture to other climate issues.

Develop accessible, creative tools and methods for collective decision-making.

Invest in crisis intelligence tools that track multiple hazards.

Enhance the evidentiary value of crowdsourced data in climate adaptation.

Involve more diverse groups of people in oversight of government climate commitments.

Develop data standards for qualitative and citizen-generated data.

Develop new approaches to compensate for sparse data in disaster risk and biodiversity management.

Create tools that help people take collective action to improve resilience.

Connect hyperlocal knowledge into global models and efforts.