City governments are increasingly developing policies and programmes designed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapt to the consequences of climate change. This generates new dimensions of accountability that have yet to be fully examined. Central among these are the growing importance of data-driven decision-making or new sources and uses for data that are produced and leveraged in urban climate governance.
BOLD Cities researcher dr. Sarah Giest and her colleagues Sara Hughes and Laura Tozer, examined the perspectives emerging from the rise of data-driven decision-making and its implications for accountability. The research focused on understanding the role that data-driven decision-making plays in shaping how, and by whom, city governments are held accountable as they take up the climate challenge.
The authors aim to provide insight and direction for urban climate governance research that can interrogate and support the accountability of local governments working to address climate change. They organize their review around three common rationales for prioritizing data-driven decision-making: standardization, transparency and capacity building.
While data-driven climate governance presents exciting opportunities for enhanced accountability through each of these dimensions, it also has the potential to motivate and facilitate a technical transition in cities with a narrowed focus on metrics. In contrast to the broad transformation of social, economic and technological systems. Only if the metrics and data are collected and applied with consideration for democracy, social justice, accessibility and local context, the broader transformations required to realize climate change goals can be made.
Read the full review article "Accountability and Data-Driven Urban Climate Governance", published in Nature Climate Change, via the attachment below: