Let’s get started: Here’s how to use the Climate Innovation Funding Tracker

November 15, 2022

Coordinating the innovation required to develop and roll out the many technologies needed to combat climate change is a complex challenge, yet to date there is no centralized system for tracking U.S. federal climate innovation investments.

Federal budget documents run thousands of pages long and can be filled with jargon, restricting access to this important information to a relatively small group of budget wonks.  But we need to understand where investments are already made and where more is needed to reach our climate goals.

To address these challenges, EDF developed the Climate Innovation Funding Tracker — a new data visualization tool that puts information on the federal climate budget at your fingertips in an accessible and intuitive format. 

What is it for?

The Climate Innovation Funding Tracker allows users to explore federal funding for climate innovation, and compare funding across sectors, solutions, and innovation stages. Users will be able to ask questions like:

  • How much federal spending is going toward different technology areas?
  • How is the climate innovation budget distributed among different agencies?
  • Which sectors are receiving the majority of climate innovation funding?

These questions may be useful for:

  • Providing greater clarity on where Congress should focus future investments
  • Providing greater clarity on how interagency budgets complement one another, and providing a deeper understanding of synergies and gaps
  • Helping NGOs identify funding gaps and establish data-driven advocacy platforms

How do you use the Tracker?

To start using the Tracker, enter the tool from the main home page. You’ll then select the first filter you’d like to analyze. You can choose between “Agency” “Sector” “Solution” or “Innovation Stage”. 

For example, let’s say you are interested in learning which government agencies are funding climate innovation in the Agriculture sector and how much they spent last year. 

First, you will select Sector, which will bring up the list of tracked innovation areas.

Then, select Agency, to show the breakdown of the different federal agencies involved in this Sector.

If you hover over one of the categories of interest (in this case, “Agriculture”), the Sankey diagram relevant to that category will be highlighted, and the relevant budget data summarized in the gray table to the right of the chart.

You can also isolate this Sector by clicking on Agriculture.

From this, we see that both the Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have programs funding climate innovation in Agriculture, with the USDA spending the largest amount at $1.63 billion in the 2021 fiscal year.

Want to dig deeper? Click the small arrow to the right of the agency’s bar to see how the funding breaks down by office, sub-office, and even by program or research area. Zoom back out of the office level by clicking the white bar to the left of the agency bar. Or just select a new filter to continue exploring. 

If you want to download the data or save the information as a graphic, you can select the download icon .

Ready to try it out?

Share your insights from the tool with your colleagues and network, using the hashtag #InnovationTracker. Let us know if you have any comments or suggestions on different aspects that you’d like to see in future iterations by reaching out to InnovationTracker@edf.org! Want updates on new insights, new versions and more on the Climate Innovation Funding Tracker? Sign up for our mailing list here.