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Assessing the impact of national climate policies and actions: New set of tools to help achieve the Paris Agreement

30 April 2020

At a time when action on climate change is more urgent than ever, the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT) has deployed a set of tools to help countries assess the impact of their climate policies and improve their chances of strengthening and achieving their national climate goals under the Paris Agreement.

  • The ICAT Assessment Guides provide governments and non-state actors with the means to assess the impacts of national policies and actions that reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Besides assessing impacts on emissions, the Guides help to assess impacts on countries’ sustainable development goals and the potential for transformational change.
  • As 2020 is the year countries prepare to update their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, the timing of the release of the ICAT Assessment Guides will please many governments looking to not only track and report their progress but to increase their commitment and attract additional financing to support their actions.
  • Particularly valuable for governments is how the Assessment Guides go beyond GHG emissions and towards delivering benefits for sustainable development and growth, tailoring the required policies to their domestic policy reality, also engaging subnational and non-state actors.
  • ICAT supports developing countries with the resources, expertise and capacity building needed to apply these tools, enabling countries to run more effective, evidence-based policy processes. Currently, ICAT works in over 30 countries across four regions of the world.
  • The Assessment Guides are an easy-to-use set of methodologies which, covering the main pillars of GHG mitigation together with sustainable development impact, were designed to be used by policymakers and technical experts in combination or separately.

What’s next?

To support the application of the ICAT Assessment Guides, ICAT is providing policymakers and technical experts with a dedicated series of webinars to better understand how they can utilize the Guides and benefit from their application.

The webinar series will feature national and international experts exploring some of the key methodologies and their application in renewable energy, forestry, and transport pricing and the assessment of impacts for sustainable development and transformational change, and non-state and subnational actors. To learn more about any of the webinars and to register, please click here.

Henning Wuester, Director of the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT) said:
“The ICAT Assessment Guides help countries develop and implement climate policies that effectively contribute to achieving global climate objectives while ensuring that domestic development goals are not jeopardized or are even advanced.”

Pankaj Bhatia, Deputy Director, Climate Program of World Resources Institute said:

“The ICAT Assessment Guides will help countries improve transparency under the new reporting framework of the Paris Agreement and design better climate policies.  They are an invaluable resource for more effective tracking of greenhouse gas emissions reductions while achieving a variety of sustainable development benefits, promoting transformational change and incorporating the climate actions of non-state and subnational actors.”

John M. Christensen, Director of UNEP-DTU Partnership said:

“ICAT was the first major international program on transparency launched directly after the
Paris Agreement was finalized in 2015. The Program has been instrumental in engaging
more than 30 partner countries in transparency action. The ICAT Assessment Guides are an
important contribution to assist countries in this process, and the Guides have through
extensive testing by national ICAT teams already proven their value.”

Markus Hagemann, Founding Partner of NewClimate Institute said:

“Renewable energy uptake has been a major success story among the diverse climate policy efforts we have seen. Knowing how to tap its potential in national climate policy planning, including the NDC, is essential for policy makers. Our renewable energy assessment guide provides in-depth assistance on this, and in addition shows ways on how the policy framework can be improved to incentivise an even faster uptake of renewable energy.”

Eng. H. M. Buddika Hemashantha, CEO of Climate Smart Initiatives said:

“The ICAT methodologies were able to be successfully translated into the Sri Lankan context. Embedding the MRV and data management system into the transport sector had flow on effects by way of knowledge sharing to many other sectors”

Martha Isabel Ruiz Corzo, General Director of the Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda, a civil society organization collaborating with state governments in Mexico, said:

“The application of the Non-State and Subnational Action Guidance enabled us to compare estimated greenhouse gas impacts of subnational actions with national mitigation goals for the agriculture and forestry sectors, clearly demonstrating that the regenerative management of landscapes can significantly contribute to the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement.”



Press contact details

Josh Edwards | | +4917670249381

Background on transparency

Enhanced transparency, as set out in the Paris Agreement and its rulebook, captures core data and information on mitigation and adaptation action and support across sectors to inform governments, civil society and the international community of progress on climate action.

Transparency is crucial for achieving the Paris Agreement because it:

  • Supports evidence-based policy design
  • Enables effective and efficient implementation of climate policies and actions
  • Helps attract required finance
  • Enhances trust and confidence amongst stakeholders and builds political buy-in
  • Accomplishes accountability, both at the national and international level

Transparency also enables enhanced ambition and development of long-term strategies towards net zero-GHG emission economies. It has been applied in different countries and contexts and proven to be able to sharpen policy formulation, track progress, and evaluate funding proposals.

About ICAT

ICAT is a multi-stakeholder partnership helping countries to better assess the impacts of their climate policies and actions, fulfil their transparency commitments, and contribute to greater transparency, effectiveness, ambition and trust in climate action worldwide.

ICAT was founded to respond to the critical need of improved transparency and capacity building for evidence-based policymaking under the Paris Agreement. ICAT works to increase the overall transparency capacities of countries, including the capacity to assess the contribution of climate policies and actions on countries’ greenhouse gas emissions, their development objectives, and their transformational change potential.

ICAT is funded by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF); ClimateWorks Foundation (CWF); the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU); and the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea (IMELS). The UNFCCC secretariat as the dedicated UN body with a climate change policy mandate is a special partner and represented on ICAT’s board. UNOPS provides management and support services through the ICAT Secretariat, which coordinates day-to-day activities and guides the work of ICAT’s implementing partners: the UNEP-DTU Partnership, Verra, World Resources Institute (WRI), and the Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA).

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