The Data Gap – Closing gaps in environment and climate data.

Despite the progress made by climate science in recent decades, there are still significant data gaps that can be a barrier to effective climate action. Notably, SDG indicators for environmental targets lag behind in data collection and compatibility. Policy makers need detailed data on emissions to help transition their energy systems, they need data to assess climate vulnerabilities, and data to understand which adaptation measures are working. Major initiatives, such as the G20’s Data Gaps Initiative are starting to tackle the data gap – but the environmental and climate monitoring challenge is huge.

Collective intelligence initiatives are playing a key role in helping to fill key data gaps by mobilizing citizens to generate real-time localized data, by tapping into community observations to ground-truth findings from surveys and other data, and by bringing together existing data sets to uncover new insights. The use of open data protocols and open data repositories are also enabling the creation of collective intelligence by allowing many different people and institutions to contribute to the creation and use of a shared resource.