Initiative for Climate Action Transparency will help countries advance climate action while building confidence internationally

Key points:
* Initiative for Climate Action Transparency will provide policymakers around the world with tools and support to measure and assess the effectiveness of their country’s climate actions in line with the Paris Agreement.
* Initiative will build capacity in an initial 20-30 countries
* Currently $16,5 million has already been committed to ICAT

(April 14, 2016)—Since 195 countries adopted the Paris Agreement in December 2015, many countries are starting to implement their climate commitments or “nationally determined contribution” (NDC). But many developing countries lack the tools to measure, report and verify progress on their climate commitments and actions. The Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT) was launched today in response to calls for support from countries for improved transparency and capacity building related to the Paris Agreement.

The mission of ICAT is to help build the capacity of developing countries to measure the impacts of their climate actions while fostering greater transparency, effectiveness, trust and ambition in climate policies worldwide. The project will work to build capacity within at least 20-30 developing countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean.

ICAT provides policymakers with tools and support to measure and assess the impacts of their climate actions. The initiative will improve the availability and quality of data, and enable countries to promote efficient, cost-effective policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, respond to sustainable development needs, and drive systemic change. ICAT will also provide a platform for countries to share lessons learned and build mutual confidence in their climate actions.

ICAT was founded in 2015 by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB); two additional donors, the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea (IMELS) and the ClimateWorks Foundation, joined the initiative at the end of 2015. The implementing partners are UNEP DTU Partnership (UDP), Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and World Resources Institute (WRI). The Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance and Rainforest Alliance are also supporting partners and will contribute to specific aspects of the initiative. The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) manages the trust fund through which the work is funded.

Currently, $16,5 million has been committed to ICAT from the four founding donors, but the initiative is open to new partners. ICAT will run for a minimum of four years with three main focus areas. First, it will develop methodological frameworks to measure, report and verify domestic climate actions, as well as conduct pilot testing programs. Second, monitoring, reporting and verification programs will be implemented through training, capacity building and domestic programs. Third, ICAT will take lessons learned to the international community.

For more information visit: www.climateactiontransparency.org

SELECT QUOTES FROM ICAT PARTNERS:

“Climate change poses the single biggest threat to the future of today’s children. It’s in everyone’s interest to build on the historic commitments made in Paris last year so that we can all benefit today from cleaner air, energy security and sustainable jobs while at the same time protecting a sustainable and healthy future. To support smart stewardship of our resources, we’re establishing a system of independent auditing of climate policies and actions undertaken by developing countries. It will help governments to build their own capacity for monitoring, reporting and verification of climate policies.” - Sonia Medina, Director, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.

With the Paris Agreement in place, we need transparent systems that help the world see how countries are following through on their commitments, and that provide a mechanism for feedback so individual nations can understand the efficacy of their climate policies. ClimateWorks is proud to support this work in collaboration with ICAT’s other donors and partners.” - Surabi Menon, Director, Advisory and Research, ClimateWorks Foundation

“Italy strongly supports capacity building and countries’ ownership of capacities as an essential pillar in order for the Paris Agreement to be successfully implemented. In this regard, in Paris we obtained very good results. Considering the cross-cutting nature of capacity building, we believe that it should be strengthened in all relevant aspects of climate change, such as mitigation, transparency, reporting obligations and GHG inventories, adaptation as well as technology development and transfer and financial flows in support for the climate policy and actions.” - Francesco La Camera, Director-General, Ministry for the Environment of Italy

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German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) is responsible for a range of government policies which are reflected in the name of the ministry itself. For more than 25 years the Ministry has worked to protect the public from environmental toxins and radiation and establish an intelligent and efficient use of raw materials; it has advanced climate action and promoted a use of natural resources that conserves biodiversity and secures habitats (www.bmub.bund.de).

Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) is an independent philanthropic organisation, headquartered in London with offices in Nairobi and New Delhi. We work to transform the lives of poor and vulnerable children in developing countries. Areas of work include children and mothers’ health and nutrition, children’s education and welfare, and smart ways to mitigate climate change. CIFF-funded programmes place significant emphasis on quality data and evidence. Before making an investment and during implementation, CIFF works with partners to measure and evaluate progress to achieve large scale and sustainable impact. Every child deserves to survive and thrive (www.ciff.org).

Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea (IMELS) The Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea is the main competent authority in Italy for proposing policy and actions for the fight against climate change. It works together with a number of authorities, including the national environmental technical agency, ISPRA, on the UNFCCC negotiations, EU legislation, national implementation and international environmental cooperation on climate change (www.minambiente.it).

ClimateWorks Foundation ClimateWorks helps foundations and climate leaders come together to be more strategic, efficient, and effective in their response to global climate change. (www.climateworks.org)

UNEP DTU Partnership (UDP) UNEP DTU Partnership is a leading international research and advisory institution on energy, climate and sustainable development. As a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Collaborating Centre, UNEP DTU Partnership is an active participant in both the planning and implementation of UNEP’s Climate Change Strategy and Energy Programme. Through in-depth research, policy analysis, and capacity building activities, the Partnership assists developing countries in a transition towards more low carbon development paths, and supports integration of climate-resilience in national development (www.unepdtu.org).

Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) VCS creates and manages standards frameworks that provide the clarity and confidence needed to drive investment in actions designed to protect the environment and promote sustainable development, in the context of climate change. Our work is underpinned by the integrity of the results we deliver and through close collaboration with civil society, governments, and the private-sector (www.v-c-s.org).

World Resources Institute WRI is a global research organization that spans more than 50 countries, with offices in the United States, China, India, Brazil, and more. Our more than 450 experts and staff work closely with leaders to turn big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and and human well-being (www.wri.org).

United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners' peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world in some of the most challenging environments. We build the infrastructure needed for development, such as schools, hospitals and roads in post-disaster and conflict-affected areas, as well as in economies in transition. We provide expert procurement support to help governments buy the goods and services they need. We manage projects and programmes of every size, while simultaneously enhancing the capacity of developing countries to manage their own initiatives (www.unops.org).