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AT&T opens climate data

The company is making datasets developed for its own climate risk analyses available for public use and has launched a climate challenge for universities and municipalities.

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AT&T's Climate Change Resiliency Project evaluates the risks of climate change
AT&T's Climate Change Resiliency Project evaluates the risks of climate change

AT&T has made climate datasets developed by the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory for its own climate risk analyses available for public use.

 

It is also launching a Climate Resiliency Community Challenge for universities to collaborate with municipalities in the south-east region of the US to conduct climate risk analysis using the data from the national laboratory.

 

Wider climate project

 

The activities are part of the company’s wider Climate Change Resiliency Project, which aims to evaluate the risks of climate change to AT&T’s operations and boost climate resiliency in the communities the company serves.

 

The rich climate projection data that it is making available can be plugged into a variety of software applications to visualise climate impacts in four south-eastern states at neighbourhood level 30 years into the future. This builds upon the engagement the company announced in March which aims to better anticipate, prepare for and adapt to impacts of climate change.

 

“Not all companies and communities have access to the data they need for similar risk analysis,” said Charlene Lake, senior vice president-corporate social responsibility and chief sustainability officer at AT&T. “So, we’re happy to share the data from our work with Argonne National Laboratory.”

“Climate change impacts everyone – financially and physically – even if we might not recognise it in our daily lives. It’s important we know the risks and learn how to adapt"

The Climate Resiliency Community Challenge for universities will provide data and funding (up to $50,000 per project) for research projects that assess local climate risk and help boost community resiliency efforts. AT&T said it has chosen the south-eastern region because it has been hit hard by severe weather and hurricanes over the past few years.

 

As part of the wider project , AT&T also surveyed US business leaders as part of the project in conjunction with the global technology and media company, Morning Consult. Around one in four respondents said their company has experienced negative financial impacts from extreme weather in the past five years. The poll also found that a majority of businesses (59 per cent) view climate change as a priority, yet, less than a third (29 per cent) have assessed the risks of climate change to their business.

 

“Climate change impacts everyone – financially and physically – even if we might not recognise it in our daily lives,” said Lake. “It’s important we know the risks and learn how to adapt. At AT&T, we’re using the best available science and technology to visualise the impacts of climate change on our business.”

 

AT&T has set a 10x carbon reduction goal to enable carbon savings 10 times the greenhouse gas emissions footprint of its own operations by 2025. It is also one of the largest corporate purchasers of renewable energy in the US.

 

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