Unpacking the effect of climate policies on greenhouse gas emissions

Project: PhD

Project Details


Under the Paris Agreement countries have agreed to a common goal of holding the global average temperature increase to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels to limit climate change impacts. Meeting this ambitious goal requires that mitigation measures cover all GHG emission sources and are collectively stringent enough to reduce emissions to net zero in the second half of this century. Climate policies are an important lever to shape emissions pathways. Climate strategies set the stage for the implementation of mitigation measures through sectoral policy instruments. These instruments provide support or impose constraints that shape technology mixes, for example in the form of fiscal incentives or emissions standards. Even policies that would not result in significant emissions reductions alone support the passage of more stringent policies over time. However, evaluating climate policies is challenging, despite the wide range of available methods. Ex-post analyses are a reliable evaluation approach, but depend on rarely available counterfactual scenarios. Results are also hard to aggregated due to distinct methods used across jurisdictions. Ex-ante approaches are important to assess future emissions pathways narratives and progress towards long-term targets. They focus on stylized pathways or on quantifiable policies, such as those containing clear targets. However, they offer limited insights about political and social reality or why policies are successful in some contexts but not in others. To facilitate the assessment of the historical effect of climate policies, the Environmental Systems Analysis Group of Wageningen University and Research and NewClimate Institute compile a comprehensive database of climate-related policies and investigate factors that might explain the effect of these policies.
Effective start/end date1/04/202/02/24


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