Climate policy ambition: Exploring a policy density perspective

Schaub, Simon, Tosun, Jale, Jordan, Andrew ORCID: and Enguer, Joan (2022) Climate policy ambition: Exploring a policy density perspective. Politics and Governance, 10 (3). 226–238. ISSN 2183-2463

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National policy ambition plays a central role in climate change governance under the Paris Agreement and is now a focus of rapidly emerging literature. In this contribution, we argue that policy ambition can be captured by the level of national policy activity, which in accordance with the existing literature should be referred to as “policy density.” In this study, we measure climate policy density by drawing on three publicly available databases. All three measurements show an upward trend in the adoption of climate policy. However, our empirical comparison also reveals differences between the measurements with regard to the degree of policy expansion and sectoral coverage, which are due to differences in the type of policies in the databases. For the first time, we compare the patterns of policy density within each database (2000–2019) and reveal that while they are different, they are nonetheless potentially complementary. Since the choice of the database and the resulting measurement of policy density ultimately depend on the questions posed by researchers, we conclude by discussing whether some questions are better answered by some measurements than others.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: ERC (via the DeepDCarb Advanced Grant No. 882601). For further details, see the DeepDCarb website (
Uncontrolled Keywords: climate policy,policy density,policy instruments,policy outputs,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
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2022 15:30
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2023 09:39
DOI: 10.17645/pag.v10i3.5347


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