While the groundswell of climate action from cities, companies, regions, and other actors marks a crucial step toward the Paris Agreement’s goals, we still lack systematic information on the scope, scale, and potential of climate action at these levels. Despite significant advancements in this realm, there is still significant uncertainty as to how data-sharing, information exchange and communication will occur across various organizations, initiatives, and regions. There is a need to improve our knowledge of climate action along with tracking and monitoring of the same.
Better data and analysis of the groundswell of climate action is crucial to:
- Demonstrating the momentum towards a carbon neutral world.
- Identifying gaps where climate action can be strengthened, and assessing the potential of new initiatives.
- Promoting the diffusion of best practices to help sub- and non-state actors increase their climate ambitions.
- Encouraging implementation and delivery of climate commitments through benchmarking and transparency.
- Connecting the commitments to their impact to showcase the actual progress made on the ground and the road ahead.
The Data and Analysis working group aims to work towards ideas and examples of better collaboration and data sharing through a common framework to demonstrate the scale and scope of groundswell climate actions.
Activities and Projects
(1) Create effective ways to aggregate different forms of climate action data.
Many networks build, support, and track climate action across peer networks of cities, companies, investors, and civil society organizations. Harmonizing data collection methods and aggregating data from different sources, while still safeguarding data providers’ operational models, will be a key first step towards creating a comprehensive picture of global climate action. A clear sense of the scope and impact of subnational and non-state climate action will be especially important in light of the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on 1.5°C.
(2) Support harmonization around the methodology for measuring and analyzing climate actions.
Researchers and analysts adopt different strategies for assessing the impact of subnational and non-state climate action. For instance, analyses differ in approaches to determining the level of overlap across sub-national activities and between sub-national, non-state and national governments. Many assessments define baseline conditions or “business as usual” scenarios in varying ways. Clarifying and developing common analytical approaches and definitions would help compare and connect analysis around subnational and non-state climate action. There is a need to track the commitments made, commitments implemented and future commitments vis-a-vis the aggregated impact of the commitments towards an under 2 degrees/1.5 degrees trajectory. The working group will support the identification of common or harmonized standards for measuring and aggregating bottom up climate action, and produce a guidance document summarizing these recommendations or best practices.
(3) Support the development of the Non-State Actor Zone for Climate Action (NAZCA).
The Data and Analysis working group will continue to provide feedback and support to NAZCA as it moves into the next phase of its development. In particular, the working group will support efforts to craft an agreement on data-sharing between the NAZCA platform and its data providers, to make NAZCA a functional tracking platform and create a common database of climate actions for use by analysts. This support might also include (but is not limited to) guidance on the content, organization, and presentation of climate commitments and actors on the platform; NAZCA’s role within the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action; the addition of new data providers to NAZCA; and the platform’s ability to contextualize and aggregate climate commitments. This work stream may collaborate quite closely with the Global Climate Action work stream to implement this goal.
(4) Support and identify developing country data sources.
The current range of platforms devoted to capturing non-state and sub-national action provide the greatest coverage of mitigation-focused initiatives in the Global North, and often overlook climate action occurring in development and emerging economies. The Data and Analysis working group will seek to identify additional sources of information on climate action in developing countries, and to support analysis that encompasses the role of climate action in the Global South. The work stream may collaborate quite closely with the Development work stream to implement this goal.
(5) Understand and support the relationship between (I)NDCs and sub- & non- state action climate policies.
The overlap between Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) and non-state and sub-national actions represents an enormous opportunity to leverage the groundswell to realize greater climate action. This process will require developing and adapting frameworks for aligning or distinguishing between climate action at different scales (local, regional, national and international). Understanding how the larger research, academic, and civil society community can inform, assess, and/or facilitate this process will form a key pillar of the Data and Analysis working group’s activities. A Framework Memo on the Relation between NDCs and Cooperative, Subnational and Non-State Action was released by the GGCA in July 2015, and is in the midst of being revised for wider publication.
(6) Make existing data more accessible, transparent and open.
A basic requirement for analysis of climate actions is the access to data on these activities. Additionally, transparency makes it possible to hold actors accountable. Currently there is a large amount of data in existence on reporting platforms (CDP, ICLEI, C40) and new actors emerge in the reporting space (R20, Global Covenant of Mayors, etc). However, no reporting platform publishes all of their data in an open and transparent way. This lack of transparency is likely one of the major obstacles to driving more actions and holding actors accountable.