Reporter’s Toolbox: New Climate Trace emissions database unveiled at COP27

Read the full story from the Society of Environmental Journalists.

Sure, there’s a lot of hype at climate change COP meetings. But the new data tool hyped by climate maven Al Gore at the recent COP27 may actually help shed light on the darkening global climate picture.

The effort is ambitious but credible: It seeks to offer quantitative estimates (or measurements) of most of the biggest greenhouse gas emissions in the world.

But is it useful for journalists?

Probably yes, and it probably will keep getting bigger and better all the time. More importantly, it may provide solid(-ish) data in a way that cuts through a lot of the greenwashing.

Where the data come from

The project is called Climate Trace and it’s a huge joint effort. Some may be relieved to learn that the data did not come from Gore himself. And skeptical journalists may be even more pleased to learn that the data did not come from companies or emitters.

Instead, more than 100 collaborators have compiled the data from some 300 satellites and 11,000 sensors. The funders and collaborators are all clearly listed. There are no oil companies among them.

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