An inventory of the world: how the climate change agreement changes everything

Politics & Society
re:publica 2016


Now world leaders have agreed – finally – to do something about climate change with the agreement in Paris at the end of 2015, everything changes in terms of the way we exploit natural resources. To manage that agreement, and quite literally to save the planet, we need an inventory of the world and everything in it – in open data. And, like any open data ecosystem, it will need millions of eyes on it. Why do we need it? What will it look like? What's your role in it? Come and find out!


This session will expose a prototype for a global inventory of natural resources. Why does the world need such a thing? Because we can't implement the agreement on climate change just – finally – made without one. And what's that to you? Well, the inventory – let's call it Gaiabase – needs to be in open data. And like any robust open data ecosystem, that means it will need crowdsourcing, and millions of pairs of eyes.

So come along to see what the future of natural resources looks like. Climb inside the guts of the prototype inventory of the world. Check some of the data in there and crowdsource your own. Because in the end the Paris Agreement will be as much about information – bits and bytes tracking who is producing what, where, against which targets – as it is about stuff – molecules of carbon dioxide.

The only way to work the politics of getting all of the countries of the world to sign up was to allow each country to set its own emissions targets, including how it was going to report on how its doing. Its not one agreement, in other words, but 185 agreements, and counting. And yet climate change is one global, real-time and completely normalisable problem. There's only one headline number which counts – the amount of carbon dioxide in our one shared atmosphere.

A bottom-up open data ecosystem is going to be the only way then, to convert the purposeful vagueness of the diplomatic language into a process where we can actually see how we as a global community are doing in trying to stop the planet frying. And because energy, by which at this stage we still mean predominantly fossil fuels, is embedded in everything this open data system isnt just oil or coal. Its how we produce and consume all natural resources, and will be as much a tool of multi-billion dollar business deals as inter-governmental policy.

We need a natural resource revolution, in fact, with open data at its heart.

Stage 3
Mittwoch, 4. Mai 2016 - 13:00 bis 13:30