Pilot studies of transformational change show the extent of climate policy ambition

Four pilot cases have showed how looking at climate action policies through a Transformational Change lens can yield new insights into what works and why.

The four cases cover different levels, sectors and stakeholders, and have used the practical Transformational Change Assessment Guide to assess both new and emerging climate policies. The Guide, which is one of ten Policy Assessment Guides available through ICAT, is a step-wise approach to determine the extent to which a policy is truly transformational in terms of delivering on the fundamental, radical changes required to meet the global climate goals and Sustainable Development Goals.

Change is required on all levels

If we are to limit the global rise in temperatures and get within reach of the goals of the Paris Agreement, change is required on all levels. The systems approach of the Transformational Change Assessment Guide makes it flexible and able to analyse policies from small municipalities to global industrial initiatives.

Putting the guide to the test, and proving its usefulness, the four pilot cases covered a broad palette of real world experiences:


The government of Tonga and the Climate Technology Centre and Network assessed the transformational change impact of the Tonga Energy Efficiency Master Plan (TEEMP), a plan that aims to reduce electricity use and #emissions from ground transportation (which account for 55% of national emissions)

View pilot summary here


Servicios Ambientales assessed the extent of transformational change expected from the implementation of the Citizens of the Future project and to use the results to maximize its impact over the long-term.

View pilot summary here


The government of Uganda wanted to know the potential for transformational change related to geothermal energy policy, with a focus on social and environmental considerations.

View pilot summary here

Nitric Acid Climate Action Group (NACAG)

The Nitric Acid Climate Action Group (NACAG) Initiative assessed the potential for transformational change of its activities.

View pilot summary here


Assessing policy impacts

The ICAT Assessment Guides are a series of methodologies for assessing greenhouse gas emission reductions, sustainable development and transformational impacts of policies and actions in an integrated and comprehensive manner across all levels of governance including sub-national levels supported by guides for stakeholder engagement and technical review.

They can play a critical role in implementing Nationally Determined Contributions and in preparing reports under the Enhanced Transparency Framework of the Paris Agreement and on progress in achieving the SDGs.

As an online toolbox, they are available to everyone and are designed to be able to be used as self-assessment tools. A series of interactive capacity building modules have been developed for countries and stakeholders interested in using the methodologies and guides. There are currently modules available for the Assessment Guides: Introductory guide, Sustainable development,  Transformational change and Stakeholder participation.

To support their application, ICAT and UNEP DTU Partnership have also developed a series of templates for assessments of sustainable development and transformational change and for reporting on transformational change. The templates make it easier to use the ICAT Assessment Guides. The reporting template and the assessment template help to communicate results in a clear and concise manner, in a format ready to be presented to other stakeholders.


For more information about any of the pilots featured or on how to use the ICAT Assessment Guide for Transformational Change, please contact the ICAT Secretariat


Image credit: Xinhua/Alamy