Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) recently conducted an analysis of national systems that track emissions and other activities aimed at reducing emissions. The study focused on four major countries, U.S., Germany, Italy and China, each of whom contribute their fair share of greenhouse gases (GHG) to the atmosphere.
CPI is an analysis and advisory organization that assesses, diagnoses, and supports national efforts to achieve low-carbon growth on a global level. CPI’s analysts’ look at energy and climate change related policies that have been implemented in both the developed and developing nations. CPI’s ultimate goal is to learn what works and what doesn’t to help policymakers fast-track best practices that will achieve a smooth transition to a low carbon economy.
CPI’s evaluation of nations’ GHG reduction policies utilizes an approach known as measurement, reporting and verification, or (MRV) for short. A good tracking system can support effective policy by providing policymakers and stakeholders with important feedback on progress towards goals, the performance of policies, and on potential future challenges. Weak MRV, on the other hand can be extremely detrimental to policy objectives, and can lead to the squander of public resources, and discourage further participation from public and private stakeholders.
The findings of CPI’s analysis for the U.S. show a strong system capable of tracking GHGs and effectively informing agencies and stakeholders, a critical part of the equation for future policy development. However, CPI revealed tracking systems for mitigation actions as a whole that do not allow policymakers to identify the most effective and efficient policies. This is due in part to the lack of a unified method for estimating and reporting the impact of mitigation actions, which make determining what policies are working best a very difficult task.
When compared to China however, the U.S. is taking positive steps toward achieving GHG reduction policies. CPI’s assessment of China’s MRV showed a GHG tracking system that lacks transparency and is limited in the number of GHGs analyzed. China’s most important mitigation actions relate to its energy-saving targets, which have the potential to aid in the development of effective energy policies.
Overall, CPI’s analysis demonstrated that nations around the world are concerned about climate change and energy related issues. With the help of CPI and similar organizations, every country will be able to develop an effective and successful MRV, which will translate into meaningful policies.
To view the analysis, click here.