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Rocky Mountain Institute Launches Platform to Accurately Measure and Visualize Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The Climate Action Engine (CAE) will help oil and gas companies in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by providing high-quality, real-time data and trusted climate intelligence to inform decision-making and evaluate whether climate actions are having an impact.

Boulder, CO — September 17, 2020

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), in partnership with Spherical|Analytics (S|A), today released the Climate Action Engine (CAE), a new platform that will produce accurate, timely and actionable greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data to inform planning and action related to reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas industry in the Texas Permian Basin.

A data and analytics platform, the CAE is uniquely positioned to meet and respond to the oil and gas industry’s need to make methane emissions-reduction actionable. As measured by carbon dioxide equivalency, over half of global energy-related emissions come from the production, transportation and use of oil and gas products. Of this, 84 million tons per year of methane emissions can be directly attributed to oil and gas production activities.

As a result, reducing global methane emissions is of increasing importance to all actors and investors in the oil and gas value chain. By connecting industry, finance and other stakeholders with high-quality data, the CAE will help them understand how to meet emissions reduction targets collaboratively and will help move capital to support climate mitigation.

“By bringing data, intelligence and people together onto one, single platform RMI is enabling climate solutions for the oil and gas industry that work for the benefit of the climate, companies, countries, and people,” said Taku Ide, principal at Rocky Mountain Institute. “With extensive connections into a comprehensive and growing ecosystem of climate-relevant data and partners, our hope is that the CAE will grow to be the go-to for high-value insights across all human-made GHG emissions sources, across all geographies.”

“RMI’s deployment of our enterprise data fabric platform, Immutably™, brings the power of machine learning for the generation of asset grade data (AGD) and AI-enablement for asset grade analytics (AGA) to provide critical insights into climate intelligence. Our partnership on the CAE enables industry partners to utilize trusted auditable AGD and AGA to reduce global GHG emissions, which then drive sustainable operational and financial decisions,” said Dan Harple, founder and CEO of Spherical|Analytics, a Context Labs company.

Specifically, the CAE will:

  • Enable oil and gas operators to ensure that they are prioritizing emissions reduction initiatives that have the largest methane emissions reduction potential
  • Track emissions reduction initiatives to ensure changes before and after their implementation
  • Pull together emissions reporting that is aligned with various guidelines such as those stipulated by Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), and CDP
  • Allow users to explore what-if scenarios such as identifying sub-economic assets under a carbon tax scenario and other climate related impacts, such as increased floods or hurricanes for stranded assets risk
  • Allow synthesis of public and proprietary data to clearly formulate emissions reduction strategies

Operators including Shell, Origin Energy, Exxon, and Chevron will be providing valuable feedback to shape the CAE’s outputs and use cases to help identify opportunities to reduce methane emissions that are under operational control in Texas.

“Shell has been able to reduce flaring in the Permian basin by around 80% since 2017 in large part to the integration of technology,” said Frits Klap, Shell VP Shales US. “Combining data and AI on a single platform is an innovation that could enhance our methane emissions management and supports Shell’s ambition to become a net zero emissions energy business by 2050 or sooner. We look forward to the potential additional benefits from participating in this CAE pilot.”

The CAE derives its insights from myriad sources, including satellites, aerial vehicles, public and private monitoring stations, compliance reporting, and other publicly available inputs and reports. Over time, RMI, along with S|A, will expand the CAE to cover all greenhouse gas emissions across critical sectors. For more information, visit

Additional Quotes
“By using data to inform priorities and decisions, Chevron has reduced methane emissions in our US onshore production operations by 85 percent since 2013,” said Daniel Droog, vice president, Energy Transition at Chevron, “As we continue our journey to actively address emissions, we are excited about the opportunity to partner with CAE to understand the potential for real-time emissions intelligence.”

“Climate change risks posed by methane and other greenhouse gas emissions are serious and warrant action,” said Bart Cahir, senior vice president of unconventionals at ExxonMobil. “The Climate Action Engine developed by RMI uses advanced science to provide enhanced, more comprehensive information to industry, regulators, and investors to help deliver actionable results to reduce methane emissions.”

“The trusted data provided by RMI’s new Climate Action Engine is crucial to my research that models life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions and develops decarbonization pathways for the oil and gas sector,” said Deborah Gordon, senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University and principal investigator of the Oil Climate Project.

“Continuously improving business and operational performance starts with understanding what our data is telling us. Improving and reducing our emissions footprint is no different. Origin Energy is pleased to see the Climate Action Engine bringing transparency and access to actionable insights which will help lower the emissions of natural gas in its role in supporting the clean energy transition,” said Felicity Underhill, general manager, Future Fuels at Origin Energy.

“A problem cannot be solved effectively unless there is a thorough understanding of the challenge. The Climate Action Engine will help pinpoint methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, making them visible, and eventually eradicable. Questor Technology’s core business supports companies in their goal to reduce emissions, in the most cost-effective way. On our client’s behalf, we are always seeking high quality, timely data that we can trust, to support them in making impactful decisions and ensuring they are solving the largest emission sources to meet their goals.”—Audrey Mascarenhas, president / CEO, Questor

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About Rocky Mountain Institute
Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)—an independent nonprofit founded in 1982—transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. It engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; the San Francisco Bay Area; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.

More information on RMI can be found at or follow us on Twitter @RockyMtnInst.

About Spherical | Analytics
Spherical | Analytics, a Context Labs company, is dedicated to sourcing and organizing the world’s environmental information, enabling data to become trusted, shared, and traded as asset grade data (AGD). Its Immutably platform utilizes machine learning technologies to source and attest to data, and AI-enhanced technologies to provide insights and solutions through asset grade analytics (AGA).

Contact: | | @SphereAnalytics