Microsoft Sharing data to help launch Linux Foundation Climate Finance Foundation

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

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Microsoft has joined Allianz, Amazon and S&P Global in announcing plans to launch the Climate Finance Foundation, a new initiative led by the Linux Foundation to build the OS-Climate Platform.

This initiative leverages open-source analytics and open data to empower the investment community, as well as NGOs, academia and others, to help better model companies’ exposure to climate change.

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.”

In April, Microsoft launched an Open Data Campaign to work to close the “data divide” and ensure that every organisation can benefit from AI and the data economy. As part of the campaign, Microsoft committed to participating in open data collaborations to tackle the major challenges of our time.

Yokoyama added:

While a lot remains to be done, we are excited to take a step towards this objective. We will also work to ensure that the outcomes of the collaboration stay open, usable and empowering, in alignment with Microsoft’s Data Collaboration Principles.

Founded in 2000, the Linux Foundation is supported by more than 1,000 members and is the world’s leading home for collaboration on open source software, open standards, open data, and open hardware. Linux Foundation’s projects are critical to the world’s infrastructure including Linux, Kubernetes, Node.js, and more.

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