The challenges of monitoring national climate policy: learning lessons from the EU

Schoenefeld, Jonas J., Hildén, Mikael and Jordan, Andrew J. ORCID: (2018) The challenges of monitoring national climate policy: learning lessons from the EU. Climate Policy, 18 (1). pp. 118-128. ISSN 1469-3062

[thumbnail of Published manuscript]
PDF (Published manuscript) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview


One of the most central and novel features of the new climate governance architecture emerging from the 2015 Paris Agreement is the transparency framework committing countries to provide, inter alia, regular progress reports on national pledges to address climate change. Many countries will rely on public policies to turn their pledges into action. This article focuses on the EU’s experience with monitoring national climate policies in order to understand the challenges that are likely to arise as the Paris Agreement is implemented around the world. To do so, the research employs – for the first time – comparative empirical data submitted by states to the EU’s monitoring system. Our findings reveal how the EU’s predominantly technical interpretation of four international reporting quality criteria – an approach borrowed from reporting on GHG fluxes – has constrained knowledge production and stymied debate on the performance of individual climate policies. Key obstacles to more in-depth reporting include not only political concerns over reporting burdens and costs, but also struggles over who determines the nature of climate policy monitoring, the perceived usefulness of reporting information, and the political control that policy knowledge inevitably generates. Given the post-Paris drive to achieve greater transparency, the EU’s experience offers a sobering reminder of the political and technical challenges associated with climate policy monitoring, challenges that are likely to bedevil the Paris Agreement for decades to come.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: climate policy,eu,monitoring mechanism,policy evaluation,policy monitoring,unfccc,sdg 13 - climate action ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/climate_action
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia Research Groups/Centres > Theme - ClimateUEA
UEA Research Groups: University of East Anglia Schools > Faculty of Science > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2016 00:06
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2023 12:48
DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2016.1248887


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item