Imagine, at the point of investment, that an investor could mandate the data-flows to demonstrate net-zero at the points of design, construction, operation and decommissioning in a manner that they could apply incentives to hold each stage to account on provable net-zero delivery.
First, a story
An engineering company wants to measure the health (‘fitness’) of a bridge, but so do other people: the region and the country want to know the health of all their bridges. People want to know if it’s safe to travel over them in advance. In a hurricane, your GPS should know if it’s safe to cross. An aid agency might want to know if they can take a heavy truck over it, or understand weak infrastructure points prior to a hurricane’s landfall to pre-plan stocking aid should critical infrastructure fail.
People designing bridges would like access to all the data about every bridge in the world so they can design them to use less material, be stronger and last longer. Insurers want access to this same information to create a model for insuring it. Public and private financiers will want to invest wisely and maximise the value of building them. And that value case also links to other economic benefits that a bridge can bring: for example, a reduced transit route reduces pollution and therefore consumption of fossil fuels.
Developing standards-based marketplaces for federated data-sharing
Addressing the climate crisis requires us to combine data-driven innovation across domains of science, policy, finance and engineering: to optimise physical infrastructures we need robust data infrastructures to fuel insight, analysis, reporting and to apply governance to hold ourselves to account on our net-zero targets and data-sharing best-practice.
Given that large-scale infrastructure and financial projects last years (or decades) now is the time to enable the instrumentation of data-flows throughout project lifecycles.
At the same time, the data-flows will be coming not just from reporting frameworks such as TCFD, but on an ongoing, continuous basis from systems, sensors and satellites.
The users of the information are manifold: from policy to regulation, research communities to a wide range of businesses, communities and individuals.
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