Various solutions using an independent, transparent inventory of emissions sources worldwide

WattTime is a convening member of the Climate TRACE coalition which released the world’s first comprehensive accounting of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions based primarily on direct, independent observation. 


Driven by satellites, remote sensing, and advanced applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning, the inventory is particularly relevant to the more than 100 countries that lack access to comprehensive emissions data from the past five years. Without this information, many countries must craft policies based on outdated emissions estimates that would have been relevant at the time they agreed to the Paris Climate Accord in 2015, but are not what they need as they head into this year’s climate negotiations in Glasgow. The radical transparency and accountability provided by Climate TRACE is essential in enabling leaders to pinpoint where to channel decarbonization efforts for maximum impact.


The Climate TRACE coalition launched in July 2020 and now counts 12 nonprofits, tech companies, and universities as members. More than 50 additional organizations from around the globe have also contributed by providing access to datasets and additional AI models, reviewing Climate TRACE methodology, and validating findings.


Each member and contributor specializes in applying remote sensing to monitoring global GHG emissions in a particular sector. WattTime and our partner, UK nonprofit Transition Zero, lead the work on emissions from fossil-fuel power plants.


Climate TRACE works by incorporating different types of satellite imagery (e.g., visible light, infrared) collected by various space agencies and organizations from around the world. We link these indicators countless records of when, where, and how emissions came about in the past, collected from ground- and sea-based physical emissions sensors, government sources, corporate disclosure forms, and other sources. We use these to train AI algorithms to spot indicators of greenhouse gas emissions in the satellite imagery. 


The software behind Climate TRACE also means constantly improving data will become available sooner with even shorter elapsed times between when emissions occur and when they’re included in the Climate TRACE inventory. And over time, the granularity of TRACE data will improve to provide the global community with the ability to view emissions from specific power plants and countless other assets all over the world, and to “see” emissions fluctuations from a single source, week-by-week.


Request for collaboration

WattTime and the coalition are eager to collaborate with anyone that wants to help build an ecosystem to generate GHG emissions data and apply it to drive impact. We particularly welcome collaborators who are:

1. Data Providers: Contribute non-public or unique datasets to improve our models. This could be company GHG disclosure data, sensor data, ground truth or remote sensing data.

2. Experts: Access or expertise in AI/ML models for activity tracking, emissions tracking, or adding a new feature to the platform.

3. Users: Tell us what data you need to reduce emissions, design policies or increase your impact on climate change mitigation.

If you are interested in collaborating with us as a data provider, expert, or user, please contact us here.


Which organisations and sectors are part of the coalition?

Founding organizations of the coalition include nonprofits Energy and Clean Air Analytics, CarbonPlan, Earthrise Alliance, Hudson Carbon, OceanMind, Rocky Mountain Institute, and WattTime; tech companies Blue Sky Analytics and Hypervine; as well as climate leader and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. The coalition organisations aims to initially track sectors accounting for approximately 90% of anthropogenic GHGs including electricity, industry, transportation, oil & gas, mining, agriculture and forestry, with the plan to add other sectors over time.

Where can I find more information about Climate TRACE?

For more information about the coalition, visit the Climate TRACE site.