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Google pledges $4 million to support climate action in cities

Grants from the fund will be used to support non-profits and academic institutions in Europe and Latin America that are leading data-driven climate action efforts in select cities.

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Google wants to help bring more data-driven climate action to cities
Google wants to help bring more data-driven climate action to cities

In collaboration with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, Google has announced a $4 million fund to further help accelerate climate action.

 

Grants from the fund will be used to support non-profits and academic institutions in Europe and Latin America that are leading data-driven climate action efforts in select cities.

 

Environmental Insights Explorer

 

At the same time, Google also revealed that its Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE), a free online tool that aims to make it easier for cities to measure, plan and reduce overall carbon emissions and pollution, has expanded to more than 100 cities worldwide.

 

EIE relies on anonymous, highly aggregated mapping data and standard greenhouse gas emission factors to estimate city building and transportation carbon emissions, as well as solar energy potential.

 

According to Google, with cities accounting for more than 70 per cent of global emissions, data-driven initiatives like its Climate Action Fund and EIE are essential to addressing climate change.

 

“We believe that empowering city governments with comprehensive, climate-relevant data and technology can play a critical role in igniting action,” said Rebecca Moore, director, Google Earth, Earth Engine and Outreach, writing in a blog post.

 

“In fact, we’ve already seen the early impacts of cities putting the power of EIE data behind climate plans from bike-friendly initiatives to solar programmes.”

 

The first grantee is Iniciativa Climatica de Mexico (ICM), a Mexican-based non-profit organisation for international climate policy at the national and city levels.

 

“We believe that empowering city governments with comprehensive, climate-relevant data and technology can play a critical role in igniting action.”

 

Grant funds will be allocated to ICM’s Hogar Solar programme, which channels government spending on electricity towards the installation of solar panels to help increase access to power for those facing energy poverty, provide cleaner energy sources and reduce overall electricity costs.

 

Data

 

Google reports that while EIE has officially published data for 100 cities, the EIE team has processed climate-relevant data across an initial sample of 3,000 cities to produce emissions insights from approximately 95 million buildings and nearly three trillion kilometres travelled.

 

“Making environmental information available will continue to be critical as cities, communities and companies worldwide band together to address climate change,” added Moore.

 

“We’re committed to doing our part and want to extend our thanks to the forward-looking city officials and climate leaders collaborating with us on this project.”

 

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