The World Resource Institute (WRI) has launched an online initiative to make global greenhouse gas emissions data more accessible and easier to understand. The free, online portal, referred to as Climate Analysis Indicators Tool or CAIT 2.0, provides data on GHG emissions from 186 countries and all 50 U.S. states, as well as other climate data. CAIT 2.0 allows users to view, sort, visualize, and download data sets for comparative analysis. By providing comprehensive emissions data in an easy-to-use tool, users from government, business, academia, the media, and civil society can more effectively explore, understand, and communicate climate change issues.
WRI maintained the original Climate Analysis Indicators Tool from December 2003 through May 2012. CAIT received an average of more than 5,000 visits per month, and was frequently referenced in news articles, policy briefs, and government documents. To provide just some examples, CAIT was regularly used to inform policy discussions within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and other forums. It was also cited in the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, and used in online tools and campaigns such as NPR's "Climate Change Trends: Carbon Emissions Giants" and the U.S. Climate Action Network's "Who's On Board with the Copenhagen Accord?"
CAIT 2.0 seeks to build on the strengths of its predecessor in providing a reliable online data platform. The platform draws on key climate data from respected research centers, government agencies, and international bodies, providing a complete, six-gas inventory for almost all countries and U.S. states. We choose data sets based on criteria such as completeness and relative accuracy, and we produce country data sets by applying a consistent methodology.
CAIT 2.0 also adopts technological advances to make for a more efficient user experience. For example, with just an Internet connection and a few clicks of a mouse (or a few swipes of an iPad), a CAIT 2.0 user can quickly pull up the international GHG emissions data set, narrow it down (by year, gas, country, etc.) for comparative analysis, and create simple data visualizations that can be downloaded or embedded. In addition, each specific data view has a unique URL, so users can share links to findings with colleagues, or save and return to a particular data view later. Users also can easily download the raw data for more detailed analysis and advanced visualizations.
WRI is seeking feedback from users on what works and what could be improved. WRI encourages users to try out CAIT 2.0 at wri.org/project/cait and send them your feedback via the online form, which will help inform site development in the months ahead.