Climate Policy Dashboard - Tracking progress to deliver net zero

 

Underlying Methodology

 

This climate policy dashboard ranks government progress in developing detailed policy to achieve the UK's climate targets. It focuses on the main sectors in the energy system: the power sector, the transport sector (including aviation and shipping), manufacturing and construction, the buildings sector and the agricultural and land-use sector. Together, these sectors represented 85% of the UK's territorial emissions in 2019.

The dashboard assesses progress by comparing domestic climate policy introduced by the UK government to a set of recommendations from the Climate Change Committee (CCC). These recommendations are taken from two recent publications, the 2020 Progress Report to Parliament, and the report 'Policies for the Sixth Carbon Budget and Net Zero', which accompanied the Sixth Carbon Budget report, and provides a detailed list of policy recommendations from the CCC, with a particular focus on policy development prior to COP26.

For each sector, as policies are announced, their content is compared to this list of recommendations. Each recommendation is categorised as met in full / partly met / not met. The overall sector is then ranked as the average of these underlying recommendations, where each recommendation met in full contributes a score of 10/10, each recommendation met in part a score of 5/10, and any recommendation which is not met scoring 0/10. The scores, and following policy rankings, are shown below:

Policies are ranked on a five-point scale from Critically Insufficient to World-Leading
Government progress is ranked on a scale from Critically Insufficient through to World-Leading

In some sectors (buildings, transport, agriculture/land-use and waste), not all of the headline pre-COP26 strategies have yet been released. It is therefore not yet possible to see if all the CCC's policy recommendations have been met / not met / partly met. In the absence of one or more key policy documents, we take a mixed approach to assessing policy development.

a range of key policy documents still need to be released before COP26

First, we still track all recent policy developments, and update the dashboard where released documents should address certain policy recommendations. For example, although the Tree and Peatland strategies have yet to be released in the agriculture/land-use sector, the Agriculture Bill should cover a series of CCC recommendations, including improving the regulatory baseline in agriculture and addressing non-financial barriers to cutting emissions. We therefore track the Agriculture Bill's progress against these recommendations. If a ranking can be provided for over 50% of policy recommendations, we use the average progress ranking from these recommendations to assess the overall progress in the sector, while continuing to highlight the urgent need for further policy development in this area.

In these sectors where under 50% of the CCC's policy recommendations can be given a progress ranking (currently transport and buildings), the Dashboard then complements this assessment of current policy development with a progress assessment for the sector based on data in the CCC's Progress Report 2020. To do this, it accounts for:

1. The pre-pandemic status of the sector in terms of progress made towards the UK's climate targets, based on an assessment of the sectoral progress indicators given in the CCC's 2020 Progress Report.

2. The pre-pandemic direction of travel of the sector, which is based on an assessment of the emissions trend in the sector from 2018-19 (taken from CCC data), compared to the pace of emission reductions required over the 2020s to get the UK on track with its climate targets, as given by the CCC's Sixth Carbon Budget.

3. The pre-pandemic level of policy development in the sector, which is based on an assessment of the policy recommendations for 2019-20 as given by the CCC, using the CCC's own verdict on how well these rankings have been met.

These three variables give a picture of the progress made in reducing emissions in this sector at the time of the CCC's 2020 Progress Report (June 2020). Combining the two assessments provides a ranking for the sector which is based on how well the CCC's policy recommendations have been met (where strategies have been released that should address these recommendations), and also the level of progress in the sector as of June 2020 (to compensate for areas where the pre-COP26 strategies are still forthcoming).

To find our more about the Climate Policy Dashboard, contact Neil Grant, COP26 Fellow at Policy Connect: neil.grant [at] policyconnect.org.uk.

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