Climate TRACE

Using satellites and AI to independently track greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors globally.

A 3D icon shows a group of colleagues working together around a table with data visualizations.
Climate TRACE logo

About the coalition

A 2019 grant to WattTime to fund emissions data transparency has now grown into a global coalition of over 100 collaborating nonprofits, universities, tech companies, and researchers working together to make all emissions data in the world transparent. We’re nearly there.

Using satellites and AI, our combined efforts have now measured over 352 million of the largest sources of emissions on the planet, the most comprehensive global view into climate change ever created. WattTime functions as the secretariat of the coalition, coordinating efforts in partnership with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

We’re sharing all data and methods free online at

Data coverage

  • 10 sectors
  • 50+ subsectors
  • 2015–2022 data, with rolling updates and additions
  • 250+ countries and territories
  • 350+ million assets

Awards + accolades

  • Time Magazine: 100 Best Inventions of 2020
  • Fast Company: The World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2022
  • Wired: 5 Good Ideas From COP27 (2022)
  • Sierra Club: 2023 EarthCare Award
  • ZDNET: Top Technologies for Fighting Climate Change (2023)

Climate TRACE is...

  • Open

  • Comprehensive

  • Granular

  • Recent

  • Actionable

  • Collaborative

  • Independent

Climate TRACE’s history:
from power plants to global emissions

A fossil-fueled power plant in Germany billows plumes of vapor and smoke from its cooling towers and smokestacks.
The journey began in 2019 when two of the coalition’s founding members, WattTime and TransitionZero, received a AI Impact Challenge grant to monitor power plant emissions from space using satellites. This would enable electricity sector emissions tracking for regions where no power generation or emissions data were publicly available. It would also provide a new data source for WattTime to use to continue expanding our offering of marginal emissions data to more countries around the world.

That initial grant—and the ambition of the project—attracted global attention and made headlines in media outlets such as Vox. We were inundated (in a good way!) with inquiries from a wide variety of organizations around the world, each asking a variation of a central question: Could this approach—using satellites and AI to track emissions from power plants—be used for other sectors and other emissions sources?
Our answer was an enthusiastic yes! In the midst of pandemic-related travel restrictions and lockdowns, a series of virtual meetings brought together organizations from across academia, the tech and private sector, nonprofits and other NGOs, and climate leaders such as former U.S. Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Al Gore.

In July 2020, Climate TRACE was born and the real work began. Just over one year later, the coalition released its inaugural dataset — the world’s first comprehensive accounting of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions based primarily on direct, independent observation. The next month, WattTime executive director and Climate TRACE cofounder Gavin McCormick took to the TED stage to tell the coalition’s story.
WattTime executive director and Climate TRACE cofounder Gavin McCormick stands in front of a power plant in New England, USA.
A view of Earth and an orbiting satellite from space.
A major update followed in November 2022. It was the most detailed asset-level global inventory of GHG emissions to date, with more than 70,000 of the highest-emitting specific sources, such as power plants, steel mills, ships, and oil and gas fields. It garnered global media coverage in Bloomberg, The New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, Axios, and many others.

That same year, Climate TRACE and The Climate Group launched the States and Regions Remote Sensing (STARRS) project to deliver emissions inventories for sub-national governments.

In 2023 and beyond, WattTime and our fellow Climate TRACE coalition members are continuing to update and improve our methodologies and the data. Together we are enabling faster, easier, more-effective climate action — from national- and sector-level inventories to regional, city, and source-specific emissions insights.

Explore the data

We’re sharing all data and methods free online at Support is also available for any policymakers, companies, activists, researchers, or others interested in using these data to drive down emissions. For more information, visit