ICLEI and Google.org launch case studies on data-driven climate action

Written by Beatriz Fonseca and Everica Rivera

As part of the Data-Driven Climate Action project, ICLEI has launched four case studies about how data-driven decision-making is helping cities to plan, implement and monitor climate change mitigation initiatives. With the support of Google.org, the project provides valuable data to assist local and regional governments in the decision-making process regarding climate action. 

The Action Fund initiative, announced in December 2019, provides a $4 million fund to support nonprofit and academic institutions in Europe and Latin American that are leading in data-driven climate action at the local level. The aim is to empower civil society organizations so they can help their communities take action on climate mitigation and sustainability. 

The value of publicly available data for enhancing climate change mitigation is reflected in measurable actions and projects which could lead local governments to increase their emissions reduction ambition, while ensuring transparency in the process. Data-driven decision-making for climate action planning and implementation depends on the processes, methods, and tools for data collection, as well as its management and interpretation.

As a first step, the project launched four case studies to share good practices and experiences from around the world and as guidance on how to use data to drive climate action. Specifically, the cases focused on how individual projects and cities interpreted available data and defined its indicators for monitoring; identified specific opportunities for investment based on that data-driven decisions; used selected data to generate buy-in from relevant stakeholders; and translated selected data into tactical steps for project execution. The case studies below document the lessons learned from two leading cities and two of the Action Fund projects.


Belo Horizonte, BR

The case study in Belo Horizonte is an example of how cities can use data to ensure precise and effective climate action. The city adopted public mitigation policies which include adaptation measures to climate change and improving attempts to reduce GHG emissions and their effects on local and global warming. 

Read: Key Data-Driven Tools for Integrated Climate Action in the City of Belo Horizonte, Brazil


Boulder, Colorado, USA

In Boulder, data analysis, collection and monitoring are the basis of Boulder’s Climate Mobilization Action Plan. The city of Boulder is creating systemic change through bold, innovative, and collaborative actions, which enhance the quality of life in Boulder and beyond. 

Read: From Climate Data to Climate Action: Experiences from Boulder, Colorado, USA


Monterrey and Guadalajara, Mexico 

Two data-driven projects in Mexico use local data and data-driven platforms to support climate planning and action. The Monterrey example shows how climate-related data can support climate planning and monitoring by providing robust greenhouse gas reduction estimates. In the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area, the project demonstrates how data measurements can be transformed into knowledge to support climate action. This case study is part of the Action Fund initiative. 

Read: From Climate Data to Climate Action, Data-Driven Projects in Mexico


Birmingham, United Kingdom

The example of the United Kingdom where energy and climate-related data are being translated into a strategic project in Birmingham. Developed by the Center of Sustainable Energy (CSE), a UK-based organization, the project aims to support Birmingham in achieving its net zero emissions commitment by 2030.  This case study is part of the Action Fund initiative.

Read: Using Data to Support the Decarbonization of the City of Birmingham, UK

In addition to the four case studies, ICLEI hosted webinars to present these case studies, enable peer-exchange and help to address questions regarding how data is collected, interpreted, and managed for taking decisions as well as its contributions to improve a city’s climate action. The idea is to support and engage local governments in implementing good practices to drive climate action and decision-making processes based on data.

To learn more about the Google.org and Data-Driven Climate Action project: click here


About the Action Fund

The Action Fund is an initiative led by ICLEI with support from Google.org, to boost environmental projects in selected cities in Europe, Mexico, and South America. The grant aims at empowering civil society organizations, academic institutions, and non-profit research institutes, leading data-driven climate action efforts to reduce citywide emissions.