Enhancing and Integrating Data Across Government

About This Opportunity

A sound evidence base is important to support enhanced ambition and accelerate implementation. Whereas engagement across government and society – see “Route: Mobilizes All-of-Government and All-of-Society” – can enhance ambition and enable implementation, aligning and integrating across government on data and evidence needs as an element of this, can improve the quality and scope of data used in NDCs. This ensures that these contributions are not only well-informed and comprehensive but also aligned with both national priorities and global climate objectives, thereby enhancing the overall effectiveness and transparency of climate action.

The data and information to develop the necessary evidence for NDCs and related processes is likely to be highly varied, and will come from a variety of sources, including line ministries, statistics agencies, trade groups, industries and businesses, local and regional governments, NGOs and civil society. Ensuring accessibility of high quality and locally-specific evidence that can inform climate action, requires consistency, coordination and collaboration. This is often termed vertical integration (between levels of government e.g., cities, regional and local governments) and horizontal integration (between sectors and ministries of the government). This vertical and horizontal integration of climate action and data can enhance the quality of national data, to more comprehensively track progress and support the implementation of NDCs. This integration helps with achieving high quality and robust NDCs that align with both national circumstances and international transparency requirements.

The following strategies could help to implement this Opportunity:

Updating and utilizing national data in GHG inventories:

Continuous improvement is a key part of GHG inventory development, including moving to higher tier methodological approaches for key categories. This will require collecting and using national level data. Doing so provides higher quality estimates of emissions and progress over time, better reflecting the real impacts and opportunities in countries than if default or generalized data is used. Developing and refining national GHG inventories to reflect true national circumstances through enhancing the availability of national data is therefore an important action for strengthening the climate action evidence base, including the ability to set targets based on accurate, national data. Collaborating with key stakeholders – including key industry stakeholders, statistics agencies, utility suppliers and line ministries for example – to collect or enhance national data might help to provide greater accuracy, support the development of actions, and access to finance.

Engaging non-Party stakeholders and other non-Party stakeholders:
  • Engaging with non-Party stakeholders, including subnational entities like cities and regions, as well as private sector actors, throughout the NDC development and implementation process is important for vertical and horizontal integration. See “Route: Mobilizes All-of-Government and All-of-Society”. This broad engagement helps in enhancing the granularity and comprehensiveness of data. These same stakeholders could also support higher quality data available at national levels. Many subnational governments and private sector entities are reporting comprehensive data through CDP-ICLEI Track for instance. Engaging with businesses, regional governments, and civil society can provide additional data sources and insights, enhancing the national understanding of GHG emissions and mitigation opportunities. ICAT provides an Action Guide for non-state and subnational entities to quantify the impact of emission reduction efforts, evaluate how these efforts overlap or complement national policies and determine the combined impact of national and subnational efforts.

Furthermore,implementing transparency processes that track contributions from these non-Party stakeholders, potentially through national registries, may allow for a more inclusive view of national efforts. There are a set of initiatives aiming at enabling collaboration between governments and cities, regions, businesses and investors under the Marrakech Partnership for Global Action. Under the partnership, various information and guidance is available on this topic, including “Climate Action Pathways: (UNFCCC), the “Yearbook of Global Climate Action” (UNFCCC), Upgrading our Systems Together (UNFCCC), and the “Breakthrough Agenda Report” (IEA).

Enhancing national data availability and quality:

A major barrier to action for many governments is access to high quality data and information to inform climate planning, as well as transparency processes and supporting investment planning and implementation. Often GHG inventory or target setting processes highlight key data gaps and opportunities, but wider planning and implementation processes can also be hindered by insufficient data or lack of data. Working with country stakeholders through participatory processes can help to identify the highest impact and most significant opportunities to enhance data across key action areas, for example. Engaging with national statistical institutes alongside building this understanding of local information and data needs can help to prioritize resources for information and data provision. For instance, providing statistics aligned to government boundaries, IPCC sectors, or policy areas. It is important that such data discussions are aligned to local contexts and needs, both locally and nationally, and improvements prioritized based on the most relevant and impactful opportunities. This could consider socio-economic contexts, such as prioritizing data improvements in sectors or activities that can also support green jobs, improved health, or access to energy. It could also consider prioritizing the complexity and level of disaggregation of data, for example, based on capacities, such as ensuring a balance between the level of detail with knowledge required, and cost involved in generating, using and updating data.

Country Examples

Colombia’s NDC integrates a robust data utilization approach, described as both top-down and bottom-up. This structured method ensures the incorporation of macroeconomic projections and official national data, as well as decentralized inputs from sectors and territories. Such a dual approach facilitates the creation of a comprehensive and accurate GHG inventory, vital for setting realistic and tailored climate action targets. (Source: “NDC Checklist Colombia Analysis,” WWF)

Costa Rica’s approach to updating its NDC provides an example of inclusive and transparent engagement with non-Party stakeholders. The extensive public consultation process, which included inputs from diverse community groups and detailed feedback mechanisms, highlights the nation‘s commitment to transparency. By publishing all received comments and how they were processed, Costa Rica ensures that its climate action planning is both comprehensive and publicly accountable. (Source: “NDC Checklist Costa Rica Analysis,” WWF)

Further Resources

Non-State and Subnational Action Guide (ICAT, 2020)
This guide provides tools for the integration of non-Party stakeholders’ activities including how to account for the variety of non-state and subnational actions undertaken by regions, cities, companies and/or sectors; assess the extent to which those actions are a means towards achieving or surpassing national climate targets; and reflect the impact of those actions in national GHG projections, policy development, and target setting. The CAAT allows users to (1) better quantify the impact of region, city, and business emissions reduction efforts, (2) evaluate how they overlap with or complement national policies, and (3) determine the impact of combined national and subnational efforts for integration into more holistic target-setting.

Enhancing NDCs: A Guide to Strengthening National Climate Plans by 2020 (WRI & UNDP, 2019)
This guide offers governments comprehensive guidance on enhancing their NDCs to align with the Paris Agreement goals. It discusses upgrading mitigation and adaptation strategies, enhancing GHG inventories, leveraging technology, and incorporating contributions from non-Party stakeholders. The guide emphasizes clear and transparent communication of NDC enhancements to foster trust and effective implementation.

2030 Breakthroughs: Upgrading Our Systems Together (UNFCCC, 2021)
This document provides guidance for catalyzing rapid sectoral transformations to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2030, emphasizing the importance of aligning these actions with the Paris Agreement’s climate targets. It highlights the Race to Zero campaign’s role in mobilizing commitments from various sectors, detailing sector-specific “Breakthroughs” necessary for systemic change. Each sector is explored with specific goals and timelines to promote a coordinated transition to a resilient, zero-carbon world.

The Breakthrough Agenda Report 2023 (IEA, 2023)
This report highlights the urgent need for enhanced international collaboration to facilitate sectoral transitions towards sustainability. Initiated by global leaders at COP26, it assesses progress in key sectors including power, transport, and manufacturing, and calls for increased cooperation to make clean technologies affordable and accessible by 2030.

The Paris Agreement’s Enhanced Transparency Framework: The critical role of non-Party stakeholder data to effectively track progress (CDP, 2023)
This policy brief discusses the critical importance of non-Party stakeholder (NPS) data, such as corporate and municipal emissions information, in strengthening the scientific basis of the Paris Agreement’s Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF). By incorporating these data alongside national reports, the ETF can achieve more robust assessments of greenhouse has emissions and progress towards NDCs. The policy brief includes information on tools to support NPS data collection for biennial transparency reports, as well as country case studies of emissions inventory and reductions, and private sector adaptation action.

Integrating Subnational and Non-State Actors into M&E Systems for Adaptation (ICAT, 2023)
This guide highlights a gap in monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of national climate change adaptation policies. While national governments set the policies, success relies heavily on actions from subnational and non-state actors (SANS). Since SANS actors hold data on their actions and results, M&E systems need to integrate them. This guide aims to bridge this gap by identifying barriers preventing SANS participation in M&E systems and offering practical measures and best practices for overcoming these barriers. The guide targets national governments designing M&E systems, but its principles are relevant for subnational governments and those developing M&E systems in other policy areas relying on SANS data.

Science-Based Climate Targets: A guide for cities (Science-based Targets Network, 2020)
Designed to help cities understand and adopt a science-based climate target. It explains different methodologies for setting an interim science-based target for 2030 and a net zero target for 2050. 

How This Links to Other Routes

Some specific linkages to other Routes that are particularly relevant include the following. Navigate to these to read more:

Route: Mobilizes All-Of-Government and All-Of-Society

Accurate data is crucial for informed decision-making and policy alignment across various governmental and societal levels, ensuring that climate action strategies are both internationally credible and tailored to national circumstances. This integration not only facilitates better tracking and implementation of NDCs but also fosters transparency and participatory governance essential for mobilizing all segments of society in climate action efforts.

Support Opportunities

Support is available to countries to apply the learning from the navigator and develop ambitious NDCs 3.0.

Share Additional Resources

Contribute new guidance, tools and strategies to be reflected in the NDC 3.0.