Evaluation of Climate Action Plans and C40’s Thematic Networks: Final Report

Evaluation of Climate Action Plans and C40’s Thematic Networks: Final Report

Published: Nov 30, 2020
Publisher: Mathematica
Associated Project

C40’s City-Level Climate Action Plans and Thematic Networks

Time frame: 2020

Prepared for:

Children's Investment Fund Foundation


Sara Bryk

Sam Studnitzer

Key Findings
  • For approximately half of all C40 cities, particularly in the Global South, this climate plan will be the first one they produce; Global North cities will presumably advance faster given their longer history of producing climate plans.
  • CAPs are city-led; cities exercise complete discretion over the strategy and actions they take, and C40 accordingly sees its role as supporting and encouraging them toward greater ambition when possible.
  • Although most cities set targets to achieve zero emissions by 2050, accompanied by interim targets for 2025–2030, plans rarely detail how consumption-based emissions will be reduced.
  • When viewed as groups, the overwhelming majority of both C40 and non-C40 cities report fewer than a dozen climate actions apiece.

The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), one of C40’s strategic funders, commissioned Mathematica to conduct an independent evaluation of two major components of C40’s direct support: the development and execution of city-level climate action plans (CAPs) that comply with the 1.5°C target enshrined in the Paris Agreement, and the thematic networks through which cities engage in peer-to-peer exchange and collaborative learning across a range of climate policy domains. This report is the result of three complementary data collection components, including 40 semi-structured key informant interviews with city officials, C40 technical staff and leadership, researchers, and representatives of other organizations who engage cities in climate policy; quantitative analysis of climate data that cities have reported to the CDP platform; and a review of nine CAPs against a newly created assessment framework. The evaluation’s scope entailed assessing the current status of both climate action planning and thematic network activities, appraising the outputs resulting from their efforts, and diagnosing opportunities for improvement.

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