Local governments benefit from Google's Environmental Insights Explorer

As local governments shift resources to manage their ongoing public health responses, they are facing unprecedented resource and capacity restraints. In the face of these increased challenges, Google’s Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE) leverages exclusive data sources and modeling capabilities  for public benefit in an effort to lighten the burden of data collection associated with developing GHG inventories and local sustainability policy.

The Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE) is a free online tool that makes it easier for cities to measure, plan and reduce overall carbon emissions and pollution across their cities. Designed in collaboration with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM), EIE analyzes Google’s comprehensive global mapping data to estimate building and transportation carbon emissions and renewable energy potential. This data can then help build policies, guide solutions and measure progress.

Through a parallel Action Fund initiative, Google’s philanthropy, Google.org, supports local nonprofits and civil society to help their cities and local governments overcome planning and climate action challenges and generate innovative sustainability solutions by using insight derived by EIE-generated data. ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, in partnership with Google.org, acts as the project’s implementer in Europe, South America, Mexico and the Caribbean. 

In South America, the Brazilian cities of Porto Alegre and Curitiba are two of the first cities to join the EIE Action Fund initiative. “The EIE platform will make a major contribution to the planning and implementation of public policies to combat climate change. Through the Action Fund, two projects will be promoted in each city, in line with its climate strategies and contributing to the reduction of emissions in the territory”, says the Executive Secretary of ICLEI South America, Rodrigo Perpétuo.

The selection of these capital cities, both located in the southern region of Brazil, is a recognition of  their commitment and leadership in taking climate action especially through efforts like becoming GCoM signatories, delivering the 2018 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and Climate Action Plan and participating in the Working Group on Climate, among others.

In the coming weeks, ICLEI  will announce a process  to select at least two Brazilian non-profit organizations to access Action Fund resources. The choice of projects will be made by a committee formed by representatives of ICLEI World Secretariat and ICLEI South America.

In the United States, the EIE can be used in conjunction with ICLEI USA's ClearPath GHG emissions management software application. ClearPath is the most widely-used software tool for managing local climate mitigation efforts in the United States. During 2019, communities across the country used ClearPath to create 336 community-scale and 196 government-operations GHG inventories. In California, where the tool has been available through Investor Owned Utilities, 344 California local governments have used the software to create 896 community scale and 447 municipal inventories as of the 2019 year-end.

“Through this partnership, more cities across the United States will now have access to free, high-quality data, and actionable climate intelligence required to rapidly establish a baseline and create a pathway to achieve emission-reduction goals” says Angie Fyfe, Executive Director of ICLEI USA.

Learn more about this partnership and  gain private access to your community’s data through Google’s Insights Workspace.

Contact ICLEI USA or ICLEI South America for more information.

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