Strengthening non-state climate action: a progress assessment of commitments launched at the 2014 UN Climate Summit

Strengthening non-state climate action: a progress assessment of commitments launched at the 2014 UN Climate Summit

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Chan, Sander / Robert Falkner / Harro van Asselt / Matthew Goldberg
External Publications (2015)

Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (Working Paper 242) / Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (Working Paper 216)

This report provides the first progress assessment of climate actions launched at the 2014 UN Climate Summit in New York. It considers the distribution and performance of climate actions along multiple dimensions that are relevant to both mitigation and adaptation. While it is too early for a conclusive assessment of the effectiveness of climate actions, this study makes a first and indispensable step toward such an assessment. Initial findings are encouraging. One year after their launch, most climate actions have performed well in terms of producing outputs, putting them on track to implementing their commitments in the coming years.
The research for this project is underpinned by the Global Aggregator for Climate Actions (GAFCA), a database developed between January and September 2015 by a research team at the German Development Institute/Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). GAFCA includes data on organizational characteristics, geography of implementation and output performance of climate actions. It creates the foundation for a long-term systematic examination of climate actions that can inform more effective efforts to strengthen such actions.
Our analysis is focused on three broad questions:

  • Have organizers of the 2014 UN Climate Summit engaged a wide range of non-state and sub-national actions that set targets relevant to both mitigation and adaptation?

  • Do climate actions align with the interests of both developing and developed countries, and do they achieve an appropriate balance in implementation in the global North and South?
  • Have climate actions started to deliver on their commitments one year since they were launched at the 2014 UN Climate Summit? (Output performance)

About the author

Chan, Sander

Transnational and international environmental politics and governance


Further experts

Aleksandrova, Mariya

Climate risk governance 

Altenburg, Tilman

Economic Geography 

Asimeng, Emmanuel Theodore

Urban Planning, Sustainability 

Brandi, Clara

Economy and Political Science 

Dippel, Beatrice


Donnelly, Aiveen

Politcal Science 

Ekoh, Susan S.

Environmental Research 

El-Haddad, Amirah


Goedeking, Nicholas

Comparative Political Economy 

Lehmann, Ina

Political Science 

Loewe, Markus


Malerba, Daniele


Mathis, Okka Lou

Political Scientist 

Never, Babette

Political Scientist 

Pegels, Anna


Sommer, Christoph


Sowa, Alina


Srigiri, Srinivasa Reddy

Agricultural Economist 

Strohmaier, Rita


Stöcker, Alexander


Vogel, Tim


Vrolijk, Kasper


Zintl, Tina

Political Scientist