The ICAT Policy Assessment Guides

Download the ICAT Policy Assessment Guides

At a time when action on climate change is more urgent than ever, the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT) has deployed a set of tools to help countries assess the impact of their climate policies and improve their chances of strengthening and achieving their national climate goals under the Paris Agreement.

The ICAT Assessment Guides provide governments and non-state actors with the means to assess the impacts of national policies and actions that reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Besides assessing impacts on emissions, the Guides help to assess impacts on countries’ sustainable development goals and the potential for transformational change.


Guides with substantial NewClimate contribution:

Renewable Energy The Renewable Energy Methodology helps policymakers assess and communicate the impacts of renewable energy policies to ensure that they are effective in mitigating GHG emissions, advancing development objectives, and helping countries meet their sectoral targets and national commitments. The document provides methodological guidance on how to estimate emissions pathways and reductions resulting from the implementation of policies in the energy sector. The methodology focuses on three policy interventions: Feed-in tariff policies, auctions policies and tax incentive policies.

Non State Action The Non-State and Subnational Action Guide facilitates the integration of the impacts of actions by entities such as states, regions, cities, and businesses into national GHG projections and mitigation assessments. This Guide provides tools for the integration of non-state actors’ 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.

Building Efficiency The Buildings Efficiency Guide provides guidance for assessing the GHG impacts of buildings sector energy efficiency policies. It provides a stepwise approach for estimating the effects of policy design characteristics and barriers associated with regulatory and financial support policies on GHG impacts. This guidance specifically covers regulatory and financial support policies that address both new building stock and existing building stock with retrofit. Users are guided on how to estimate the impacts of these policies for the residential sector, although this guidance may also be used for the commercial and public sectors. The guide’s focus is on the assessment of impacts from built-in energy loads, including space heating, cooling, lighting and hot water.

Other available guides:

The series includes a general introduction to the ICAT Policy Assessment series and the following additional relevant guides:

The Forest Sector Guide provides methodological guidance for assessing the GHG impacts of forest policies that increase carbon sequestration and/or reduce GHG emissions from afforestation and/or reforestation, sustainable forest management and avoided deforestation and/or degradation.

The Transport Pricing Guide helps policymakers assess the impacts of pricing policies in the transport sector and improve their effectiveness. The methods provided focus on the GHG impacts of fuel subsidy removals, increased fuel taxes or levies, road pricing and vehicle purchase incentives for efficient vehicles.

The Transformational Change Guide defines transformational change for GHG mitigation and unpacks this definition to provide a stepwise approach to determining the extent to which a policy is truly transformational.

The Sustainable Development Guide helps policymakers and other users assess multiple development and climate impacts across the environmental, social and economic dimensions. These may include air pollution reduction, job creation, improved health, access to energy, poverty reduction, protection of ecosystems, and more.

The Stakeholder Participation Guide can help countries enhance stakeholder participation in the design, implementation and assessment of climate policies and actions. Broad stakeholder participation is an essential factor for fostering greater transparency, effectiveness, trust and ambition in climate policies.

The Technical Review Guide helps policymakers and technical reviewers engage in productive reviews that enhance policy assessments. It outlines three different approaches for review and provides guidance on how to select the most appropriate type of review.

The Agricultural Sector Guide supports the assessment of the GHG impacts of agricultural policies and actions. This guidance fills a gap in currently available guidance, which includes project-level agricultural GHG accounting, but does not include GHG accounting at the agricultural policy level.


Contact for further information: Niklas Höhne, Markus Hagemann