OCN’s approach centers on a set of assessment tools that will generate a nuanced, contextualized, independent, and peer-reviewed assessment of climate policy implementation and its effects and help stakeholders raise the right questions about climate-related policy design and implementation.
OCN is currently pilot-testing assessment tools to track: (1) implementation of policies to reduce GHG emissions, (2) the extent to which countries are achieving low-carbon growth and competitiveness, and (3) climate finance that developed countries are providing to developing countries.
Click on the headings below for more information on each area of the OCN assessments.
Climate Policy Implementation
Identifies which institutions have the legal authority to make and implement laws, regulations and plans related to climate change and key climate-relevant sectors, and could therefore be held accountable for carrying out these functions. Examines the mandates of key institutions, including mandates to hold public consultations or facilitate stakeholder engagement, and establishes the extent to which there is clarity about authority of different jurisdictions.
Identifies and categorizes a country’s policies that affect GHG emissions (both those policies that mitigate emissions and those policies that increase them). Helps users identify and correct misalignment between policies, plans, and growth strategies (e.g., climate policies and energy development plans that contradict one another), and prioritize policies for further assessment.
Assesses the implementation process for policies identified in the policy map. Helps users determine whether key steps in policy implementation are being undertaken as planned, facilitates the diagnosis of barriers to effective policy implementation where these are occurring, and helps to identify practices that lead to successful policy implementation.
Analyzes the effect of specific policies on GHG emissions and on non-climate indicators such as local pollution and jobs. Also evaluates changes on the ground before actual GHG impacts are measured, in order to provide a better indication of likely outcomes of the policy and to better attribute GHG impacts from the policy.
Low-Carbon Growth & Competitiveness
How can countries position themselves to compete in a low-carbon future? This section tracks indicators that capture drivers such as R&D and infrastructure investments, availability of and access to skilled labor, and innovation levels. Tracking these indicators allows countries to see individual progress over time and helps to provide a platform for comparisons of “readiness” between countries.
Tracks the economic benefits that may be associated with the enactment of low-carbon policies. This includes indicators that measure changes in important parameters such as jobs, prosperity, and competitiveness. Tracking these indicators allows users to see progress over time and helps to provide a platform for comparisons of growth and competitiveness between countries.
Provides context by illustrating the extent to which low-carbon transition is taking place. This includes indicators such as GHG intensity for major sectors, electricity generation mix, and GDP per unit of energy supplied. It provides an important assessment of where countries stand in making the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Provision of Climate Finance
Developing countries require an increase in international financial ambition and financial flows from donor countries to meet the increasing need to respond to climate change. Whether or not donor ambition and flows have increased can be determined, first, by comparing pledges and flows to those of previous years. In addition, the value of the increase can be affected by other factors, such as the grant element of flows, whether the flows are being counted towards multiple objectives, and whether the flows are being ‘double counted’ by the donor country as offsets.
Several characteristics of the finance influence its perceived quality. For example, some stakeholders argue that funds should flow through multilateral institutions with certain governance structures, should not result in the diversion of funding from other important development objectives, should be prioritized for the most vulnerable countries, should be predictable and sustainable over time, should not result in increased debt of the recipient, and should be distributed in a ‘balanced’ manner between various climate change objectives.
The extent to which the donor country takes steps to ensure that the finance will fulfill its intended objectives; affected by factors such as whether the donor country coordinates with other donor countries, whether the finance aligns with recipient country priorities and needs, whether it has strong monitoring and accountability systems in place, and whether lessons learned from previous flows are fed back into the policymaking process of generating and distributing funds.
An OCN partner in each country will apply the frameworks on a regular basis to generate a dynamic assessment of climate policy implementation. The assessments will undergo peer review to ensure the results will be considered credible and independent by a broad audience.