On March 17 – 18, 2015, nearly 30 experts from eleven countries met at the World Bank in Washington, DC to discuss improving assessment methods for climate action and to explore increased co-operation. The workshop was a follow up to a technical meeting held in Berlin in October 2014.

The Workshop was convened by the co-chairs of the Climate Transparency Initiative, Dr. Alvaro Umaña and Prof. Dr. Peter Eigen, facilitated by Dr. Gerd Leipold and held at the World Bank Group headquarters in Washington DC.

The workshop provided an opportunity to closely analyze and compare existing initiatives to assess climate action. For example, it allowed for a detailed comparison of the Carbon Action Tracker, the Climate Change Performance Index, the Climate Transparency Initiative and the Yale Environmental Performance Index, which enabled a deeper understanding of the differences and complementarities between existing efforts. Crucially, this led to the recognition that the initiatives has brought together cover nearly all of the relevant climate mitigation assessment factors.

Based on the discussion of the workshop, the participants came to a number of conclusions and agreed on follow up actions:

  • The participants agreed that closer co-operation between different initiatives will lead to a more complete assessment of mitigation efforts.
  • Assessments of actions by non-state actors (regions, cities, industrial sectors etc.) are at an early stage and do not yet allow evaluation the global effect of these actors. Significant methodological questions will have to be addressed and data quality and quantity will need to be improved.
  • Assessment efforts on climate adaptation and climate finance were also discussed and the consensus was that they are much less well developed. It was agreed that those assessments will be necessary to review the full range of climate action and will be useful input for the international climate discussions.
  • The participants agreed that, at this stage, it is difficult to determine the impact of assessments and indices on climate change discussions and negotiations. However, there was consensus that more comprehensive assessments, structured in the form of indices, serve the need for independent MRV. Independent and easy-to-understand assessments of climate actions also have the power to mobilize civil society, private sector and government to influence national and international climate change discussions and negotiations.
  • A consortium – “Climate Transparency” – will be formed. It will be an open consortium for all qualified initiatives that work on the assessment of climate actions. Climate Transparency will be a platform for existing efforts and not as a competition to them.
  • For the moment the consortium will have a light governance through the two Co-Chairs Alvaro Umaña and Peter Eigen. The Humboldt-Viadrina Governance Platform (HVGP) will serve as secretariat.
  • CT will produce a joint composite picture (not a composite index yet) of the climate action by the G20 countries before the Paris conference.
  • Post 2015 Climate Transparency will explore and possibly extend its work to also include assessments for adaptation actions and climate finance. To this end, the co-operation with relevant institutions that work on these will be sought.
  • From 2016 onwards Climate Transparency work towards a common conceptual framework for mitigation action and will eventually include adaption action and climate finance.
  • The participants agreed that participation of experts from middle income and developing countries should be strengthened in the future.