Climate Policy Initiative Analysis: Four Major Countries Could Better Monitor Policies

Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) has completed an analysis of national systems that track emissions and activities to reduce emissions in the U.S., Germany, Italy and China. The analysis revealed that existing systems allow these nations to determine if they are meeting their emission reduction targets, but do not allow them to identify which of their policies are most effective and efficient.

CPI's analysis, which examined the transparency, comparability, reliability, usefulness, timeliness and completeness of each system, also indicated that:

• China is strengthening its capacity to produce greenhouse gas inventories, and is publishing a comprehensive annual report of mitigation activities. More transparent expert and public review of its data and methods would make its systems more effective.
• The United States has very strong emissions tracking systems, but lacks a systematic process to track the impact of all its climate mitigation policies. This hinders its ability to continuously improve the effectiveness and efficiency of its policies.
• Germany has sophisticated and effective systems for tracking emissions reductions and many of its energy policies, however, the transparency and consistency of its full suite of mitigation actions could be improved.
• Italy has strong institutional expertise and systems in tracking emissions. Its systems for tracking mitigation actions are reliable but do not always measure their impact on greenhouse gas emission levels.

"As the adage goes, you can't manage what you don't measure," said Kath Rowley, director of CPI San Francisco. "Strong monitoring, reporting and verification systems of emissions and activities to reduce emissions are crucial for focusing political and financial capital where it will deliver the best results."