Djurgården - Photo Tove Freij
Photo: Tove Freij

The software getting global cities to net zero

Cities worldwide have vowed to achieve net zero emissions as they strive for a fossil-free future. While no two cities are carbon copies, they typically encounter the same stumbling blocks in their climate transitions. This Stockholm-based company helps cities to net zero.

"Cities have a very clear goal, but how to get there and at what pace, with what actions and policies, and especially what investments to make is a big void that we're trying to help them to fill," says ClimateView's co-founder Einar Bodström.

The Stockholm-based company creates technology that helps cities understand and execute the necessary shifts to meet their climate goals. What would once take 6-12 months of planning can be achieved in days or even hours.

ClimateView is the first company to approach the climate transition holistically, connecting planning, execution and funding. It's a vital piece of the puzzle, says Einar, since "a climate action plan without funding is just words on a piece of paper."

Combining data, agent-based modeling and interface design, the decision-making platform models the world in a robust, systematic way. It's now easy and efficient to deploy the many shifts required to transition to a green economy.

Transparency has always been a core part of ClimateView's DNA. All calculations can be looked at, questioned, and updated according to new information and data. Consequently, Einar and the team can "constantly expand and refine as new needs and data arrive."

As word of the game-changing software spreads, so does ClimateView's client list. Nearly 150 cities worldwide, from Newcastle in the UK to Cincinnati in the US, are currently using the platform. And there's a lengthy waiting list eager to get started.

Operationalising climate action plans

In its earliest incarnation, ClimateView was the Panorama Project, a visualisation tool for Sweden's climate transition that showed actions in different sectors and their progress.

The brainchild of mathematician and Agile methodology expert Tomer Shalit, the goal was to keep tabs on Sweden's climate transition. Tomer pitched the platform to the Swedish government, and they immediately saw its potential.

He recruited two like-minded co-founders, and they got to work with the relevant government agencies, including the Swedish Energy Agency and Swedish EPA, which are both still closely involved today. Together, they built a mathematically-rigorous platform that was easy to use for all stakeholders - whether politicians, citizens, climate professionals or financial institutions.

Sweden's most pioneering cities were invited to use the platform from almost day one. "We took them in the very, very early stages to understand what the pain points were they were experiencing," says Einar. It quickly became apparent they all shared the same problems, and these extended to cities far beyond Sweden's borders.

Einar explains it's the symmetry and transparency of global cities that makes them the ideal user. "This is not only Swedish cities; this is European cities, global cities. They want to share data, solutions and best practices. That enables us to build advanced analysis software, but also a knowledge base for them to share their most recent insights in a real scalable way."

The company has evolved fast in the four years since Tomer pitched the Panorama Project. In 2020, ClimateView introduced the Transition Targets - over 85 expert-formulated shifts essential to addressing climate change. In 2021, the ClimateOS platform was launched, the first SaaS to operationalise climate action plans.

It's cities that use the platform, but it's the planet and people that stand to gain. Reaching net zero is as much about the climate as it is about improving quality of life, says Einar. "Everything we know that is dirty, polluting and noisy can and will be replaced. It's just a matter of time."