Madrid, Spain (10 December 2019) – During COP25 in Madrid, where national, regional and local governments from across the world are meeting to discuss the latest efforts to fight climate change, Google and ICLEI announced they are partnering to offer a new $4 million fund to support European and Latin American non-profits and academic institutions that are leading data-driven climate action efforts at the local level.
The fund aims to support civil society organizations to help their communities take action on climate mitigation and sustainability efforts.
Google’s online tool Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE) is currently providing more than 100 cities worldwide with data to measure greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and the opportunity to take action to reduce CO2 emissions based on those data. The Action Fund is exploring how communities can be empowered to turn these insights into action and projects at the local level.
ICLEI will support the allocation of the fund to projects that use the city-level data to take climate action. Local governments may support this effort through outreach to non-profit and academic organizations in their cities, engaging together on local climate action plans, and identifying implementation actions.
“Although data is a universal language, it has yet to be effectively translated into local climate action,” explained Wolfgang Teubner, Regional Director, ICLEI Europe. “Data can, if presented in a way that is engaging and easy to understand, inform and motivate people to take action for change. That is why Google EIE and ICLEI are collaborating to work with civil society actors to harness this potential and transform cities into more climate-resilient and sustainable places.”
Alongside the fund, Google also offers an online tool providing high-resolution data to measure greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and take informed action to reduce CO2 emissions.
In collaboration with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, the Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE) tool already covers 100 cities worldwide, enabling them to easily recognize buildings’ emission, green areas, potential green or solar coverage and much more.
“We need ambitious actions among global actors to reduce GHG emissions and stop global warming. This partnership between Google and ICLEI exemplifies that and proves that no barriers can stop those committed to fighting climate change," said Edgar Villaseñor Franco, Regional Secretary of ICLEI for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
The first beneficiary of the fund is the Iniciativa Climática de México (ICM), a Mexico-based NGO that localizes international climate policy to locally reduce GHG emission while promoting low-carbon development in Mexico.
The fund supports ICM’s program “Hogar Solar,” an initiative that tackles energy poverty by directing public investments to the installation of solar panels to benefit those who cannot access clean and affordable electricity.
"ICLEI and Google together will address climate social impact in the cities, moving ICLEI closer to the innovation ecosystem and moving Google closer to the climate justice agenda. We hope to scale up this partnership, which is born as a success already," said Rodrigo de Oliveira Perpetuo, Regional Director ICLEI South America Secretariat.
Since cities account for more than 70 percent of global emissions, empowering them with comprehensive, climate-relevant data and technology can play a critical role in catalyzing local, data-backed sustainability planning and action.