Climate Data Lab

Climate change is perhaps the most urgent issue area of our times. It is often presented to the public as a mere alteration of weather patterns resulting in catastrophic events, while in reality it is a complex set of interrelated phenomena. Overseas Development Institute (ODI), Inter Press Service (IPS) and the Data J Lab and MSc Data Journalism of Tilburg University partnered in a specialized Climate Data Lab, with the aim of scraping, mining, analyzing and visualizing data related to climate finance and other climate-related policies in order to increase transparency and access to climate-fund datasets.

Objectives

  • Offering top-notch analysis and visualization on climate change issues, from an innovative perspective and using advanced data analysis and data journalism techniques.
  • Increasing the understanding of climate change as a set of issues pertaining to climate policy as well as international and national finance.
  • Advancing the understanding and mastering of data journalism techniques within the respective organizations.

The Climate Data Lab aims to increase public awareness of the complexity of climate change and promote a view of climate change as a process with causes and consequences where international climate policy and finance play a big role. Specifically, the goal is to combine data from several sources to create a series of interactive maps and accompanying analyses and narratives, making these data accessible to the public and policy makers alike. Our initial focus will be on climate change policy, using financial data produced by the Overseas Development Institute to give insight into the quantity and direction of economic forces underlying climate policy.

The project makes use of existing but unconnected datasets and scientific reports on climate funding and energy subsidies produced by ODI. The Lab aims to 1) find stories in such datasets and reports, making data in the respective datasets “speak to each other”, and 2) visualize those stories in interactive maps in order to uncover unexplored connections and make them accessible to a wider audience. The outcome of the project is two-fold: an interactive multi-layered map (or series of maps) and a data journalism series of articles, in both English and Spanish, to be published by the global news agency Inter Press Service as well as other media outlets. The interactive multi-layered map(s) will allow also other data journalists and non-governmental organizations to uncover stories in the datasets.

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