Climate risk: Amazon, Allianz, Microsoft, and S&P Global join open data initiative

Michael Holder
clock • 3 min read

Linux Foundation spearheads new drive to harness AI and open source data to combat climate risk

A clutch of global corporates including Amazon, Allianz, Microsoft, and S&P Global are leading a new initiative to harness AI, open source analytics and open data to help better manage climate risks and take advantage of the opportunities offered by the net zero transition, the companies announced yesterday.

Spearheaded by non-profit the Linux Foundation, the LF Climate Finance Foundation (LFCF) aims to empower investors, banks, insurers, companies, governments, NGOs, and academia to use AI-enhanced open data analysis in order to address the financial threats from climate change.

The LFCF said it plans to establish an open source climate data platform - dubbed OS-Climate - consisting of multiple physical and economic risk scenarios, a global and open 'data commons', and financial and economic models.

Armed with that enhanced data, the aim is for members to collaborate towards developing predictive analytics tools and investment products "that manage climate-related risk and finance climate solutions across every geography, sector and asset class", the Linux Foundation explained.

"There is a clear call from major pension funds, banks, governments and civil society for public access to corporate climate data and other data needed for finance to support Paris Agreement goals, as well as for better tools to inform financial decisions," said Truman Semans, who has led community building to support the OS-Climate platform and form the Foundation.

The Foundation's planning team also includes representatives from green groups such as WWF, Ceres, and the Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB), which are all expected to play a key role in helping to identify climate-aligned companies, infrastructure, and capital projects, LFCF said.

"The cost and complexity of analytics for climate-related investments require highly organised collaboration and resource sharing across hundreds of users and contributors," explained Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation. "The LF Climate Finance Foundation will enable neutral governance, shared development costs and technical leadership from many of the world's leading financial institutions, multilateral organisations, academia, governments and NGOs." 

It is envisaged that investors and banks will eventually be able to use the platform to analyse portfolios and individual investments to help spot climate risks, while governments could use it to identify resilient infrastructure investments and develop effective policy and regulations, said LFCF.

Investors and NGOs, it added, could also use the platform to bolster their advocacy efforts to encourage companies to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

"Addressing climate issues in a meaningful way requires people and organisations to have access to data to better understand the impact of their actions," said Jennifer Yokoyama, Microsoft's chief IP counsel. "Opening up and sharing our contribution of significant and relevant sustainability data through the LF Climate Finance Foundation will help advance the financial modeling and understanding of climate change impact - an important step in affecting positive change. We're excited to collaborate with the other founding members and hope additional organisations will join."


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