Preventing the worst impacts of climate change, building resilient societies and protecting vulnerable groups requires urgent and ambitious policy changes, investments and leadership. This will only occur when political incentives align with climate action and are supported through inclusive and accountable governance. Strengthening governance is about establishing rights and rules and providing capacity to implement, but that alone is unlikely to be enough if power and resources are not more equitably distributed across societies.

WRI works to grow the profile of Climate Governance as a critical element of advancing global climate action by:

Providing tools that respond to stakeholders’ needs.

WRI’s governance tools help to pinpoint gaps, build capacities, and strengthen the evidence base for advocacy and policy change.

WRI has developed a political economy guide and assessment for domestic climate governance. This guide helps civil society, policy makers and civil servants consider and address the political economic constraints and opportunities in their countries for implementing more ambitious and equitable climate actions.

WRI also works to ensure climate data remains free and open, allowing government actors to coordinate more effectively and civil society to better understand climate risks, drivers and progress in implementing policies. A collaborative effort between WRI and its partners helps government officials and civil society advocates identify priority data types and enable more stakeholders to use climate data. For example, Climate Watch offers open data, visualizations and analysis to help policymakers, researchers and other stakeholders gather insights on countries' climate progress.

Building equity into climate decision-making at the local level

WRI partnered with IIED to develop a set of Principles for Locally Led Adaptation. Developed in support of the Global Commission on Adaptation, these principles are intended to catalyze a shift toward adaptation programs, funding and practices that are increasingly owned by local actors.

At the city scale, the Urban Community Resilience Assessment (UCRA) helps local officials and civil society measure resilience, vulnerability and access to municipal services across neighborhoods. This tool aims to help poor, marginalized communities have a voice in urban resilience planning and help officials integrate local knowledge into decision-making.

WRI also partnered with C40 to develop a set of tools for cities. One tool, a climate action database, includes equity considerations, policy design recommendations, guidance on situating climate action in the local political economic context and comprehensive indicators to help cities monitor their impacts.

Partnering with government and civil society to make climate governance more participatory and accountable

Through the Open Government Partnership platform, WRI has worked with civil society and governments in over a dozen countries to develop commitments for transparent, participatory and accountable climate action.

WRI also developed the Adaptation Finance Accountability Initiative to support and document the role that civil society is playing in monitoring and holding governments accountable on the use of climate adaptation finance in countries like Uganda, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Kenya.

Photo by N. Sigtia