About Climate Scorecard Phase II

Climate Scorecard Phase 2 is a project to help ensure that leading greenhouse gas emitting countries fulfill their commitments to implement the Paris Agreement. We encourage countries to put in place policies, programs, and mechanisms that will:

  • achieve and strengthen the goals and objectives of their initial 2015 pledges to the Paris Agreement
  • increase their emission reductions
  • adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change
  • support the flow of finance and technical support to less developed countries.

Phase 2 of Climate Scorecard builds upon the work of Phase 1 of our initiative (June 2016—December 2017) during which we built a network of Country Managers in the top 20+ greenhouse gas producing nations. Working with our Country Managers, Climate Scorecard produced 16 Climate Scorecard Reports that provided information about policies and programs to reduce emissions in these leading greenhouse gas emitting countries. We distributed these Reports to more than 10,000 environmental leaders around the world. Phase 2 responds to reports from the United Nations Environment Program, the World Meteorological Organization and others that initial Paris Agreement country pledges are too low to prevent the planet from exceeding the 2-degree Celsius global warming tipping point. Therefore, Phase 2 of our initiative is focused on identifying and advocating for actions that each country needs to take to fully implement and further strengthen its existing Paris Agreement pledge.

During Phase 2, each Country Manager will produce a monthly News Brief—Action Alert focused on a current economic, social, political, policy or program that impacts the ability of his or her country to implement the Paris Agreement. Our News Briefs & Alerts will highlight a significant activity in each country that has an impact on whether that country is moving forward, standing still, or falling behind in its efforts to support the Paris Agreement.

The ‘Take Action’ section of each News Brief will highlight what needs to be done to move this activity forward or reverse its course, if it is causing a country to fall behind with its commitments. Each ‘Action’ section will specify what needs to be done, who needs to do it, and provide contact information for those targeted for action. Climate Scorecard’s News Briefs—Action Alerts are intended for use by concerned citizens, media, research, and advocacy-focused partner organizations in each country.

In addition, every month Climate Scorecard Phase 2 also will highlight the status of the global effort to strengthen the 2015 country Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) pledges to the Paris Agreement. Our monthly Global Activity Status table will be based on a compilation of activities and activity ratings described in the monthly News Briefs—Alerts of participating countries.

Climate Scorecard is managed as a partnership of 2 international NGOs: The Global Citizens Initiative and EarthAction.

Supporting the Paris Agreement

Climate Scorecard Phase 2 highlights the need for action to further each country’s ability to implement its pledge to the Paris Agreement. Specifically, we will assess the progress of countries to achieve the following three main goals of the Agreement as defined by Article 2:

  1. Keep global average temperature to well below 2 degrees C (climate mitigation goal)
  2. Increase the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change, foster climate resilience, and low greenhouse gas emissions development (climate adaptation and low-carbon development goals)
  3. Align finance flows with a path of low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development (climate finance goal)

Each country that signed the Paris Agreement made a pledge to help achieve one or more of the above three goals, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) It is widely recognized that existing NDCs need to be fully implemented and further strengthened if the Agreement is to succeed. A list of country NDCs is available here.

Climate Scorecard’s Activity Rating System

Climate Scorecard Phase 2 will use a four-star rating system to assess the impact of an Activity, as reported in our News Briefs, on the ability of a country fulfill its pledge to the Paris Agreement. The Rating System is as follows:

**** Good Move: The Activity, as reported, moves the country forward in fulfilling its Paris Agreement pledge
*** Right Direction: The Activity, as reported, has the potential to move the country forward in fulfilling its Paris Agreement pledge, but other steps need to be taken in order for the potential to be fully realized.
** Standing Still: The Activity, as reported, does little to change the ability of the country to comply with its Paris Agreement pledge. It needs some sort of significant input in order to make a difference.
* Falling Behind: The Activity as reported, takes the country backwards and needs to be reversed if the country is to move forward in honoring the Paris Agreement

Our rating system has several uses: It enables us to highlight the relevance of each country activity to that country’s level of support for the Paris Agreement; It helps track the country’s cumulative efforts over time; and It facilitates an analysis of the collective performance of all countries being monitored by Climate Scorecard.

The Role of the Country Manager

Climate Scorecard’s Country Managers are responsible for monitoring and reporting on current climate change related activities in his or her country. To fulfill his/her responsibilities, each Country Manger will:

  1. Write a monthly country News Brief—Action Alert that spotlights a relevant activity that impacts the ability of that country to help implement the Paris Agreement
  2. Specify in the ‘Take Action’ section of the Brief what action needs to be taken in response to the issue described and identify the policymakers or others that need to be contacted along with their contact information.
  3. Rate the activity described in the Brief according to Climate Scorecard’s rating system (see above). Each rating should be accompanied by a sentence or two explaining the rating*
  4. Coordinate with Climate Scorecard’s in-country Partner Organization to get their input into the monthly News Brief—Action Alert and to encourage them to distribute the Brief to their members, contacts, journalists, policymakers and the general public to advocate for change with leaders and decision-makers

* For example, a new renewable energy policy that has not yet been implemented might receive a three-star rating (Right Direction) with an explanation that this is a good policy that can affect mitigation efforts but its value depends on whether it becomes operational or not. A movement to reorganize the Ministry of the Environment also might receive a three-star rating (with an explanation that this can help build the capacity of the Ministry to address mitigation and adaptation issues, but only if the Ministry develops better policies.

The Role of the Partner Organizations

Climate Scorecard is establishing a network of Partner Organizations in the countries we are monitoring. Types of Partner Organizations include environmental NGOs and advocacy groups, environmental policy research institutions, and local media organizations that cover climate change stories. The roles of our Partner Organizations include:

  • reviewing each month’s News Brief—Action Alert before they are finalized;
  • identifying and implementing the best ways of distributing our monthly News Briefs—Action Alerts so that citizens, policymakers, media contacts, etc. read them and take action if they choose to do so.

Climate Scorecard views our country Partner Organizations as part of our team. Their help in supporting advocacy work, linked to our Action Alerts, is invaluable. Just as Partner Organizations support our work we will help support theirs. Names, descriptions, and organizational links to all Partner Organizations will be posted on the Climate Scorecard website and donors to our initiative will have the option to make donations that will help support the work of our Partners.

Interested in becoming a Partner Organization?