Initiatives Track Progress toward a Climate Safe World
UN Photo/Pasqual Gorriz
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The Climate Action Tracker launches the Decarbonisation Data Portal to track trends within and across countries and sectors.

A study published in Nature proposes a "nested" indicator framework to measure the impacts of individual and collective efforts under the Paris Agreement.

Gold Standard announces the "second and final" consultation for the Gold Standard for the Global Goals.

13 March 2017: Adopting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement were landmark successes of multilateralism in 2015. Various recent initiatives and research seek to quantify the global community’s success in delivering on the ground progress toward the SDGs and climate action. Such work can help track progress achieved on several SDGs, especially SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy) and 13 (climate action).

Several publications advocate ways to best track progress under the Paris Agreement, and the resulting impact on the climate. Both a briefing by Climate Action Tracker and a paper published in Nature suggest tracking both the aggregate impact of countries’ efforts and individual impacts.

In Nature, the authors suggest a system of indicators, each meant to measure a different scale of climate policy and progress. Ultimately, the indicators would “nest” within one another, tracking: global emissions to monitor aggregated progress; country-level information to track emerging trends vis-à-vis nationally-determined contributions (NDCs); and technology diffusion to indicate future reductions. [Nature Publication]

Climate Action Tracker launched the ‘Decarbonisation Data Portal’ to help compare trends toward decarbonization economies around the world.

Climate Action Tracker’s (CAT) briefing makes several recommendations to help tackle the issue of tracking individual efforts and aggregating efforts from the diverse set of actions laid out in countries’ NDCs. For individual reporting, CAT recommends that the rules be as precise as possible, while acknowledging that not all countries will have the capacity to provide all of the information. In these cases, CAT recommends expert analysis either through the UNFCCC or outside of it. To help aggregate information, the CAT recommends that the guidance currently under development for the Paris Agreement’s transparency system should address all types of NDCs and set a minimum mandatory set of requirements for the information that they contain. Common time frames for NDCs would also help aggregation, according to the CAT. [CAT Briefing]

Beyond providing recommendations, the CAT also launched the ‘Decarbonisation Data Portal’ to help compare trends toward decarbonization economies around the world. Using data from 41 indicators of emissions trends in over 32 countries, the Portal allows users to compare decarbonization trends in 13 sectors. Users can compare trends among countries, among sectors in different countries, or across sectors within a single country. [Decarbonisation Data Portal]

The Gold Standard announced its second public consultation on their work to develop a Gold Standard for the Global Goals. This standard aims to quantify and verify the impacts of climate initiatives toward the achievement of the SDGs, while incorporating the existing Gold Standards. With this new standard, project developers and funders will be able to certify the impacts that they want to support through their climate change projects, through the delivery of the “right safeguards, processes and methodologies at the right time.” Gold Standard launched a public consultation to seek feedback on: the requirements, stakeholder guidelines and procedures; the safeguarding principles; and the claims guidance for the Gold Standard for Global Goals. Comments are also sought on a context-specific module for Sustainable Urban Development, which is linked to SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities). The consultation is open until 2 April 2017. [Public Consultation] [Claims Guidance Consultation] [Sustainable Urban Development Consultation]

In related news, Gold Standard has published a methodology to estimate and verify Averted mortality and Disability Adjusted Life Years (ADALYs) from cleaner household air. This methodology seeks to measure progress toward the SDG 3 (good health and well-being). [ADAYLs Methodology] [Gold Standard Energy Requirements Website]

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