Special Issue "Transparency of Climate Policies for Sustainability Transition"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020).
Interests: sustainability transition; impact assessment; sustainable development; transformational change; Article 6 cooperative approaches; transparency; capacity building
Interests: adaptation; monitoring and evaluation; climate action transparency; resilience
The Paris Agreement Article 13 established an enhanced transparency framework (ETF) for tracking progress in climate action and support. Under this framework, all countries shall report through biennial transparency reports (BTRs) and national inventory reports on their national greenhouse gas inventories, track progress of nationally determined contributions (NDCs), support provided, needed, and received, and voluntarily communicate on climate impacts and adaptation. For countries to commit to ambitious NDC targets, national transparency frameworks are needed to support evidence-based policy making and implementation. The transparency of the collective efforts of NDCs to keep global warming well below 1.5–2 °C will build trust that all parties contribute their fair share to a global and just sustainability transition. The urgency of sustainability transition at all levels of society towards net-zero global CO2 emissions is underlined in the ‘Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C’ by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2018). Since 2015, when the 2030 Agenda with the global sustainable development goals (SDGs), the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the Paris Agreement were agreed, the need for integrated impact assessment of climate and development of policies and actions has increasingly been recognized in the research (Iyer et al. 2018, Fuso Nerini et al. 2018) and policy communities (ICAT 2019a and ICAT 2019b). Transparency and coordinated reporting for tracking progress for diverse, often conflicting climate and sustainable development goals are the key to manage synergies and trade-offs for effective policy making and impact investment for sustainability transition. Moreover, it is important to understand to which extent the transparency provisions of the Paris Agreement can facilitate climate action progress through greater accountability, since the link between the two is far more complex and less clear than commonly assumed (Gupta A. and van Asselt H., 2019). It is important to not underestimate the deep accountability challenges to address in the transnational climate change regime resulting from increasingly complex networks among other factors (Widerberg O. and Pattberg P 2017).
This Special Issue aims at taking stock of current knowledge of experience and research on the role of transparency of climate policies to promote sustainability transition at global, national, and local levels. We therefore invite papers that address the following questions, among others:
- How are developing countries supported to develop their national transparency systems?
- What are the challenges and issues to establish sustainable institutional frameworks at national, sectoral, and subnational levels for data collection and reporting to the ETF?
- What are the special circumstances and capacity building needs for least developed countries (LDCs) and small island development states (SIDS)?
- How is the private sector incentivized to contribute and report to national registries for GHG accounting and NDC and SDG monitoring and reporting?
- How can the enhanced transparency framework complement and strengthen complementary “accountability pathways” including mutual peer-to-peer accountability, internal accountability of governments to institutions and/or civil society organizations, and governmental self-evaluation (Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen S.I., 2018)?
- How can a planetary boundaries approach to assess transformational impact for sustainability transition be operationalized at national, sectoral, and possibly company level to assess the ambition of policies and actions towards NDC targets aligned with the global goals?
- What lessons can we learned from case studies of government and nonstate actor experiences to establish transparency systems for reporting to the ETF?
If you would like to contribute with a paper to the Special Issue, please send an abstract (max. 250 words) to [email protected] and [email protected] at the latest by 31 January 2020. Full papers for selected abstracts are due by 30 September 2020. Papers finalized earlier may be published on an ongoing basis.
Fuso Nerini, F., Tomei, J., To, L. S., Bisaga, I., Parikh, P., Black, M., Borrion, A., Spataru, C., Castán Broto, V., Anandarajah, G., Milligan, B. & Mulugetta, Y. 2018. 'Mapping synergies and trade-offs between energy and the Sustainable Development Goals.' Nature Energy, 3:1, 10-15.
Gupta A, van Asselt H. Transparency in multilateral climate politics: Furthering (or distracting from) accountability? Regul Gov. 2019 Mar;13(1):18–34.
ICAT (2019)a. Sustainable Development Methodology: Assessing the environmental, social and economic impacts of policies and actions. Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT), Rich, D., Song, R. & Olsen, K.H. (Eds.). World Resources Institute, and UNEP DTU Partnership, Washington and Copenhagen. https://climateactiontransparency.org/icat-guidance/sustainable-development/
ICAT (2019)b. Transformational Change Methodology: Assessing the transformational impacts of policies and actions. Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT), Olsen, K.H. & Singh, N. (Eds.). UNEP DTU Partnership and World Resources Institute, Copenhagen and Washington. https://climateactiontransparency.org/icat-guidance/transformational-change/
Iyer, G., Calvin, K., Clarke, L., Emonds, J., Hultman, N., Hartin, C., McJeon, H., Aldy, J. & Pizer, W. 2018. 'Implications of sustainable development considerations for comparability across nationally determined contributions.' Nature Climate Change, 8, 124-29.
Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen SI, Groff M, Tamas PA, Dahl AL, Harder M, Hassall G. Entry into force and then? The Paris agreement and state accountability. Clim POLICY. 2018;18(5):593–9.
Widerberg O, Pattberg P. Accountability Challenges in the Transnational Regime Complex for Climate Change. Rev Policy Res. 2017 Jan;34(1, SI):68–87.
Dr. Karen Holm Olsen
Dr. Gerardo Sanchez Martinez
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- enhanced transparency framework (ETF)
- biennial transparency report (BTR)
- transformational change
- accountability pathways
- sustainable development
- Tracking progress of NDCs for mitigation and adaptation goals
- sustainability transition
- planetary boundaries