Urban Climate Action Impacts Framework: A Framework for Describing and Measuring the Wider Impacts of Urban Climate Action

17 Feb 2020 - This report presents an Urban Climate Action Impacts Framework (UCAIF) that can be applied when exploring the wider impact of city climate action, and provides evidence that urban stakeholders need to guide and make the case for climate action.

17 Feb 2020 - This project aims to take the first and vital step towards providing cities with the resources they need to understand and make the case for climate action. From 2015-2016, C40 undertook two studies investigating whether there is solid evidence on these wider benefits. The first work was conducted with several C40 cities to consider what evidence is available within city authorities themselves4. The findings indicate that most cities have little or no such data, that they have limited conventional data on their own city operations and functions which complicates attempts to establish local impacts, and even if data exists, cities often can lack the resources, tools, and expertise to use it to guide decision-making processes. The second study, in partnership with LSE Cities, examined the status of the evidence across academia5. The findings were universal. While there may be lots of anecdotal evidence of the wider impact of climate action, there has been far from sufficient assessment of the wider impacts, and we remain some way from a global, thematically comprehensive, robust evidence base. Where evidence and methods do exist, they see a huge variation in the frameworks, methods, indicators and metrics, often lack robustness, are inaccessible to cities (not published or in a format not appropriate for non-specialists), and are mostly ex-ante. The evidence is not in the form needed by city leaders and policymakers to make the wider case and effect proper action.

It is clear there is an urgent need to establish such an evidence base, and this project aims to take the first step in responding to this challenge. The Urban Climate Action Impacts Framework (UCAIF or ‘the Framework’) presented in this report, builds on the work started by C40 and LSE Cities, to provide a response to this challenge. It is a first attempt at providing a structure for the collection of evidence on the wider impacts of climate policies and in shedding light on the process by which they occur. As mentioned above, the Framework is composed of a Climate Action Impacts Taxonomy (‘the Taxonomy’) and a set of intervention logics mapping the Climate Action Impacts Pathways (‘the Pathways’) that describe the causal chains from cities’ actions to their possible positive and negative impacts.