CC Partners with SPARC and EIFL to Launch a 4-Year Open Climate Campaign

Monica GranadosCable Green

To make open sharing of research outputs the norm in climate science, Creative Commons, SPARC and EIFL are proud to launch a 4-year Open Climate Campaign with funding from Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, which builds on planning funds from the Open Society Foundations. Climate change, and the resulting harm to our global biodiversity, is one of the world’s most pressing challenges. While the existence of climate change and the resulting loss of biodiversity is certain, knowledge and data about these global challenges and the possible solutions, mitigations and actions to tackle them are too often not publicly accessible.

Many researchers, governments, and global environmental organizations recognize the importance of sharing research openly to accelerate progress, but lack cohesive strategies and mechanisms to facilitate effective knowledge sharing and collaboration across disciplinary and geographic borders.

During the COVID-19 crisis, the power of open access to democratize knowledge sharing, accelerate discovery, promote research collaboration, and bring together the efforts of global stakeholders to tackle the pandemic took center stage, as scientists embraced the immediate, open sharing of preprints, research articles, data and code. This adoption of openness contributed to the rapid sequencing and sharing of the virus’s genome, the quick development of therapeutics, and the fastest development of effective vaccines in human history. The lessons learned during the pandemic can and should be applied to accelerate progress on other urgent problems facing our society.

We now have the opportunity to take open access lessons learned from the COVID-19 experience, and intentionally craft a coordinated campaign to apply it to an equally essential challenge — climate change.

When knowledge about climate change and biodiversity is not freely and openly available to all, only part of humanity is able to help build on that knowledge. When only some people are able to contribute to that knowledge, new insights and possible solutions are missing. When the data that supports research is inaccessible, scientists cannot fully assess or replicate results. Addressing a challenge as dramatic as the climate crisis and its effects on global biodiversity will require that everything we know is available to everyone to understand and augment. The Campaign will go beyond just sharing climate and biodiversity knowledge, to expand the inclusive, just and equitable knowledge policies and practices that enable better sharing.

This global Open Climate Campaign will:

  • Bring attention to the issue of access to knowledge on climate change particularly to researchers who are producing the knowledge and informing them of tools that can open their research outputs.
  • Work directly with national governments, funders and environmental organizations to identify legal and policy barriers; help governments create, adopt, implement equitable open access policies to overcome them; and make it easier to open and share their climate change research, data and educational resources.
  • Identify, engage, and contribute to draft international frameworks to include funder open access policy recommendations, and promote the public benefits of open access knowledge.
  • Identify important existing climate and biodiversity research publications not already open access, and unbind those seminal publications to make them open access.
    • We will also explore tactics to facilitate changes in publisher actions to ensure future climate and biodiversity research is open access.
  • Engage with researchers, universities and policy makers from traditionally excluded groups and geographical regions to ensure inclusive outcomes throughout.

We look forward to mobilizing researchers, national governments, funders and environmental organizations by providing them with direct, hands-on support to open access to knowledge about climate change and biodiversity preservation.

CC, SPARC and EIFL are already succeeding at helping national governments adopt open access policies to share knowledge with the public. On 26 August, the U.S. Government published new guidance for all federal agencies to make all publicly funded research and related data fully open immediately upon publication (read posts about the US announcement from CC and SPARC). The Open Climate Campaign will support more policy work like this, with more national governments, funders and environmental organizations, to foster the knowledge sharing policies and practices we need to empower everyone to learn about and contribute to climate change and biodiversity solutions.

To learn more about the Open Climate Campaign or to connect, please visit the Open Climate Campaign website.

Read the press release of the Campaign’s launch.