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Open source climate data project adds EY and Airbus, builds out scenario analysis capabilities

The platform is in talks with EU, US, and UK regulators on potential avenues for collaboration

Ernst & Young (EY) and Airbus have joined as founding members of the open-source data platform OS-Climate, joining a roster of high-profile affiliates which include Allianz, BNP Paribas, S&P Global, Goldman Sachs, Federated Hermes, KPMG, the Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance and the London Stock Exchange Group. 

The upcoming platform, which has been under development since 2019, will host climate datasets and tools identified as the most material for decision-making by financial institutions, and will be free-to-access for all users. 

But there is also the potential to reap profits for the big names who have signed up. OS-Climate’s open-source model means that members share the costs required to build the platform but will then be able to leverage the platform’s shared resources to develop their own commercial offerings. 

In addition, members say that an industry-wide initiative is necessary to address the unavailability of key climate datasets – such as corporate emissions data – which are increasingly in demand as investors and financial institutions wrestle with more stringent regulatory disclosure requirements and client demands to protect their assets from climate risks. 

The platform’s stated aims have already won support from some of the most prominent industry, including former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres, who supported the initial development of the platform, and Bob Litterman, the former head of risk at Goldman Sachs, who is part of the OS-Climate Planning Team. 

RI understands that the platform is in talks with regulators from the US, EU and UK to see how its architecture could support upcoming regulatory initiatives. The EU is currently in the early stages of setting up a so-called European Single Access Point which would host sustainability data reported by EU companies, while the UK government has invested £10m to create a similar repository. 

The US Securities and Exchange Commission is expected to introduce long-awaited climate disclosure rules for companies by the end of 2021. 

The addition of Airbus represents a significant contribution to OS-Climate’s resources, with the manufacturer pledging a 15-person team of engineers to help develop scenario analysis tools which model the clean energy transition within the aviation sector. This will later be expanded to cover other industries.  

EY said that its participation would focus on “making it easier for financial institutions and corporate counterparties to disclose data, and in developing open-source scenario analysis tools”. 

OS-Climate will open portions of the platform for public access and data contributions beginning Q1 2022. 

The platform will have two main areas of functionality. Firstly, the ‘Data Common’ – seen as the platform’s most important element – will give users access to raw climate datasets while supplying the underlying information needed for the platform’s analytics to function. 

Secondly, users can access a suite of tools for scenario analysis which include tools for transition and physical risk, and industry specific modelling, in addition to assessing the alignment of their portfolio with Net Zero targets via a temperature score. 

OS-Climate will host its first public demonstration of the platform’s capabilities in conjunction with COP26 on November 8. The session will include presentations by central banking group NGFS data workstream co-chair Fabio Natalucci, Generation Investment Management co-founder David Blood and former US Federal Reserve Board Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin.