UNFCCC partners with Microsoft to use AI to track global carbon emissions

Leaders from the United Nations and Microsoft announced a partnership that will enable the UNFCCC to create a new AI-powered platform and global climate data hub to measure and analyse global progress in reducing emissions. This will dramatically simplify the process to validate and analyse climate data submitted by the 196 Parties to the Paris Agreement.

The partnership comes at a critical time, as the world’s governments come together at COP28, organised by the UNFCCC and the COP28 UAE Presidency, to take stock of the slow progress in meeting the climate goals set by the Paris Agreement.

“The world must move faster to reduce carbon emissions. Simply put, you can’t fix what you can’t measure, and these new AI and data tools will allow nations to measure emissions far better than they can today,” said Brad Smith, vice chair and president of Microsoft.

“The Paris Agreement provides the framework for all the world’s nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees,” said Simon Stiell, UNFCCC executive secretary. “Climate change is a global emergency that goes beyond borders. It will require technology for adaptation and mitigation. Progress also requires collaboration from trusted partners to develop the tools that the framework requires to be delivered. We are happy to work with Microsoft in this effort.”

Aggregating and analysing carbon data today is time consuming and often done through manual methods. Under the agreement, Microsoft will build a new platform to provide digital support to the UNFCCC’s Enhanced Transparency Framework. This platform will enable advanced analysis of global climate data through the creation of a new global climate data hub and an AI-powered data analytics platform. This will equip UNFCCC and member states with the tools they need to efficiently report and validate progress toward carbon reduction targets. This includes tracking transportation, agriculture, industrial processes, and other sources of carbon emissions. It will also provide UNFCCC and member states with tools to plan carbon reduction strategies using simulations, benchmarks, and data visualisations to help inform targeted actions, saving time and money.

This work will also include the creation of Global Climate Dashboards for publication on UNFCCC website, increasing transparency, accountability, and ultimately informing meaningful climate action.

Microsoft has committed $3 million over two years to help enable the implementation of the Enhanced Transparency Framework and the Global Stocktake mechanisms established by the Paris Agreement.

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