Cooperative climate action 2013 - 2018: global performance and geographic scope

Chan, Sander / Thomas Hale / Kennedy Mbeva / Manish Kumar Shrivastava / Jacopo Bencini / Victoria Chengo / Ganesh Gorti / Lukas Edbauer / Imogen Jacques / Arturo Salazar / Tim Cholibois / Debora Leao Andrade Gouveia / Jose Maria Valenzuela / Alexa Waud /
External Publications (2018)

A report of the project “Strengthening non-state climate action in the Global South” (ClimateSouth)


This study analyses the performance of the 127 cooperative initiatives registered with the UN Climate Change Climate Action Portal as of October 2018, as well as the geographic distribution of their participants.  
These initiatives show 22,490 instances of participation by cities, businesses, states and regions, civil society groups, and other sub/non-state actors from every part of the world. The initiatives have a significant potential to contribute to implementation of national government initiatives, as well as to drive more ambitious national policies. 
The performance of cooperative initiatives is largely positive. By 2018, around three quarters were producing outputs consistent with delivering on their pledges. The level of performance of initiatives improves from 2013 to 2018, and as initiatives progress in time they also perform better, especially the first five years. Growing output performance suggests that initiatives are starting to deliver, increasing the likelihood – but not guaranteeing – that they will achieve desired environmental and social impacts.   Despite some positive trends, the study also finds a continuing gap between the global North and South in terms of visibility, participation, and leadership. Only about a quarter of leaders, initiators, and participants in cooperative initiatives come from non-OECD countries. However, Latin America and Africa show sizeable levels of participation.  
The observed North-South gap may be at least partially driven by the higher visibilty of sub- and non-state actors in developed countries. Indicative evidence from India and Kenya demonstrate that many climate actions in these countries go unrecorded in international platforms and databases.

About the author

Chan, Sander

Transnational and international environmental politics and governance


Further experts

Aleksandrova, Mariya

Climate risk governance 

Brandi, Clara

Economy and Political Science 

Dippel, Beatrice


Donnelly, Aiveen

Politcal Science 

Ekoh, Susan S.

Environmental Research 

Goedeking, Nicholas

Comparative Political Economy 

Klingebiel, Stephan

Political Science 

Lehmann, Ina

Political Science 

Mathis, Okka Lou

Political Scientist 

Never, Babette

Political Scientist 

Pegels, Anna


Röthel, Tim


Srigiri, Srinivasa Reddy

Agricultural Economist