The internet is littered with poor data presentations on climate change. The storytelling in the charts is often ineffective, and the connection to human activity is often absent. In many cases, the “so what?” and the “call to action” are missing from these data presentations.
One example of the effective presentation of data is a new tool by the World Bank to rate sustainable energy policies in more than 100 countries. Referred to as “RISE” (Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy), the tool is a scorecard that grades countries in three areas: energy access, energy efficiency, and renewable energy.
As shown below, the map enables users to explore a country’s policies and regulations in the energy sector, and also compare scores (more than 25 indicators are tracked) across countries. Users can also download the underlying data.
The intended audience for this tool is policymakers, since it can help them identify policies and regulations to expand and improve sustainable energy. However, anyone who is interested in sustainability or climate change will find the tool valuable.
The RISE tool is effective because it is interactive and communicates the data visually. It also displays relevant information and filters it down to the most essential bits. Most importantly, it provides actionable information, enabling the user to make data-driven decisions.
It can be improved in a few ways, however. For example, enabling the user to change key parameters easily and run simulations would provide greater transparency and insight into the specific actions that would be required to reach specific goals. The tool could also be improved by adding functionality to recommend policies or actions to take based on a country’s profile (geography, resources, demographics, regulatory/legal framework, politics). Still, RISE is a remarkable tool that can serve as an example of effective data presentation on climate change.