Transparency Framework and Strategic Choice of NDC Metrics

The Paris Agreement and Beyond: International Climate Change Policy Post-2020. Octubre 2016.

Key Points

  • In theory, NDCs can be translated into any metric without affecting ambition, if detailed information is known and provided. However, despite theoretical equivalence, in practice the degree of transparency is associated with the target type.
  • It seems important to distinguish between “narrow” and “broad” transparency. The first concept refers to how information under the GHG target is provided, and the second has to do with possible problems associated with asymmetric information.
  • We might assume that diversity in INDC types is due only to strategic choice (i.e., choice based on hidden criteria other than emissions reduction)— and that if all governments acted transparently, they would use a common metric (ideally, the simplest—a quantified amount relative to a base year). However, countries may choose more flexible metrics for other reasons.