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Sustainable Investing Glossary

Climate Action Tracker

The Climate Action Tracker is an independent scientific body that tracks decarbonization initiatives by governments and measures them against the goals of the Paris Agreement. This seeks to limit the rise in global temperatures to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to keep the rise to 1.5°C by the end of this century.

The tracker is a collaboration between two German organisations, Climate Analytics and New Climate Institute, that was founded in 2009 and is based in Berlin. It tracks data from 36 countries plus the EU, covering about 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions and about 70% of the world’s population.

The tracker quantifies and evaluates climate change mitigation commitments, and then assesses whether countries are on track to meeting them. It aggregates country action to the global level, determining the likely temperature increase by the end of the century. The tracker also develops sectoral analysis to illustrate required pathways for meeting the global temperature goals.

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The national actions that are tracked are:

  • The effect that the policies a government has implemented or enacted will have on national emissions up until 2030 and beyond
  • The impact of pledges, targets and Nationally Determined Contributions on emissions over this time period
  • Whether a government is doing its ‘fair share’ of emissions reductions compared with the efforts of others towards meeting the Paris goals

From this data, the tracker calculates the gap between the pledges made now and the work that is needed to meet the goals, and the consequences for global warming if there is a shortfall. This uses the Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Induced Climate Change (MAGICC), developed by the US National Center for Atmospheric Research and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.  

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