Four intermediate goals: a methodology for evaluation of climate mitigation policy packages – Climate Policy

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to evaluate climate mitigation policy packages in various countries’ nationally determined contributions by introducing four intermediate policy goals: decarbonizing energy, improving energy efficiency, reducing demand for energy services, and enhancing carbon sinks and reducing emissions of non-CO2 gases. The methodology was examined by using data of China, Germany, Japan, the UK, and the US. Climate mitigation policies introduced between 1990 and 2015 in the five countries were categorized into four intermediate policy goals. Six indicators were introduced to measure actual outcomes, each representing one of the four intermediate policy goals. A comparison between the policy categorizations and the indicator outputs led to the conclusion that the number of policies implemented partially reflects the countries’ efforts to achieve specific policy goals, even though the stringency of each policy was not taken into account. This comparison was also useful in identifying key policies that were effective in achieving policy goals, even if there was a relatively small number of policies. The methodology was useful in generating policy recommendations to fulfil all the four intermediate goals in a balanced manner.

POLICY RELEVANCE

The Paris Agreement, adopted at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) in December 2015, calls for all countries to prepare, communicate, and maintain successive nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and pursue domestic mitigation measures with the aim of achieving the objectives of such contributions (Article 4.2). Under this new regime, methodologies to assess policy implementation have become increasingly important, especially for the post-2020 period. The methodology developed in this study is simple enough for any country to use and was effective in grasping the overall characteristics of the climate mitigation policy package in each country or region studied. The study recommends that the UNFCCC create a rule requesting countries to submit estimates of population, GDP, total energy demand, share of renewables, and other relevant factors for the target year when they submit their successive intended NDCs.

SOURCE: Yasuko Kameyama and Akinori Kawamoto, “Four intermediate goals: a methodology for evaluation of climate mitigation policy packages”, Climate Policy, Published online 08 Dec 2016

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