building, lake, grass, reflection

In 2021, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirmed that human activities are having a profound impact on the planet, and will inform the global negotiations at Cop26, to accelerate the journey to net zero and keep the increase in temperature above pre-industrial levels to less than 1.5°C.

As with other significant challenges we face, effective sharing and use of data is becoming central to delivering emission cuts and building resilience, and doing so in ways that deliver wider environmental, social and economic value.

In our draft paper - ‘Tackling the climate crisis with data: what the built-environment sector can do’ – we look at several challenges, including bringing together data on the existing built environment to support strategic action and investment, and unlocking greater building and house-level data to support individual choices around energy saving and retrofit strategies. We identify the need to improve standards and working practices and the challenges relating to reliable and trustworthy carbon calculation, while pointing to the potential for modern data stewardship practices to build open, trustworthy data ecosystems in support of a net zero, climate resilient future.

This working paper also launches a call for collaboration – we are asking organisations and individuals to take action:

  • Give us your feedback on this working paper via this form  to help focus future data collaborations and activities by 19 November 2021. By filling out the form you can:
    • Sign up to collaborate with us – making 2022 a year of action on built-environment data to tackle the climate crisis.
    • Tell us about existing data-sharing and open data projects, priorities and needs to help build a shared map of initiatives and opportunities.
    • Commit to identifying how you can play a role in improving data flows in the built-environment sector, building a deeper culture of data sharing and use to address climate challenges.


Research/writing by ODI Associate Tim Davies: interdisciplinary social researcher, consultant and facilitator