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OS-Climate Theory of Change

Theory of Change

A growing cadre of leaders in the climate finance space realize that open source and open data solutions are crucial for accelerating progress toward the Paris Accord goals.   

The community-based open source technology and data development approach has been crucial in tackling highly complex problems in life sciences (COVID vaccines, Human Genome Project) and technology (Linux OS, Kubernetes. Hyperledger).  The Linux Foundation has evolved the most effective licensing, governance, collaboration systems, back office support, and global network of any organization in technology and data.  

Through The Linux Foundation, OS-Climate is able to advance solutions for climate-aligned and sustainable finance in ways no other organization in the space can in a manner that supports rather than competes with the myriad of other players in competitive environments. 

Open source creates a mechanism for individual agency while removing barriers to collaboration. A data scientist, modeler, SME, developer, or any relevant stakeholder can freely contribute based on an individual motivation, while simultaneously finding contributors from other, often seemingly disconnected organizations who share that same interest. 

This creates a community feel where an individual can see the progress of not only their contributions but also the summation of all contributions. This sense of community that spans companies, nationalities, and backgrounds provides a sense of purpose for those involved as they unite behind a common cause, and this purpose unlocks the amazing talent and innovation that unproductive competition can otherwise thwart.

OS-Climate is a “public utility” that provides “hard and soft infrastructure”.  It ensures completely transparent community governance (from strategic to technical levels), permissive use licensing that is “as open as possible, as closed as necessary”, along with research and academic collaboration that ensures science-based solutions.    

Given that the current market approach is falling far short of what is needed to create high quality solutions with speed and lower costs, an open source approach is the only viable answer to foster the collaboration and agility required. An open source approach brings together technical experts from NGOs, governments, financial institutions, academia, and companies to work in a collaborative, focused manner. Rather than spread great talent thin across disparate efforts, an open source community harnesses this collective energy to compel action. The Linux Foundation, with its long history in fostering open source innovation, is well positioned to build the right foundation to accelerate progress in ESG data and analytics tooling. OS-C can harness the power of open source to:

  • Produce free, high quality, transparent, and comparable data with broad coverage faster than regulations can achieve
  • Rapidly produce high quality, fully transparent analytics tools
  • Enable IFRS, ISSB, and GFANZ to accelerate the convergence and implementation of analytic methodologies and data standards
  • Build a shared platform built on collaboration, not unproductive competition
  • Create a virtuous cycle to steer the power of free markets toward achieving the Paris Agreement goals

OS-Climate has already attracted many major players who are working today on the data and tools they require. They are committing roughly $10.5 million of in-kind technical people, and IP over the next 12 months to make very substantial progress to the Data Commons (an OS-C developed platform that provides standardized self-service infrastructure and tooling for creating, maintaining, and managing data products).  On top of this state-of-the-art data platform, the teams are building analytics tools for Physical Risk & Resilience, Portfolio Alignment, and Transition Analysis.