Last fall, DDL released the 2022 Global Climate Action Report, which analyzes subnational actors’, including cities and companies, climate ambitions and progress towards commitments.

The report provides valuable information to policymakers and researchers about the status of global climate action, and provides insight into what more is necessary to reach the Paris Agreement goals.

We put together a short Q&A video with DDL Data/Research Scientist Zhi Yi Yeo, who was a lead author of the report, to answer the frequently asked questions about the report.

Watch the full 2022 Global Climate Action Report Q&A here.

The purpose of the Global Climate Action Report is to understand how nonstate actors, including cities, regions, and companies, are contributing to the global climate action landscape.“For this year,” said Yeo, “we also took a closer look at the ambition level that these nonstate actors are pledging to, and also what kind of progress they are making towards these commitments that they have pledged.”

Unfortunately, the results of the report suggest that subnational actors still have a lot of work to do if we are going to reach the Paris Agreement targets. “While some of the overall findings are a little bit weak, there is some room for cautious optimism. So on one hand, we see a lot of subnational governments, including cities and regions, having targets that are not ambitious enough necessarily to achieve the Paris Agreement goals of keeping warming to two degrees or 1.5 degrees Celsius. And on the progress side, a lot of the more than half of some national governments are also not making sufficient progress towards the targets they have set,” said Yeo. 

However, there is hope that momentum on setting more ambitious targets is building following a 2020 rut. “In terms of target setting… we see an overall decrease in the number of targets being set, even though in the past two years from 2021 to this year, we do see an increase in targets being set,” said Yeo. “So we lost some momentum, but it’s regaining.”

As climate action becomes increasingly necessary, DDL will continue its global climate action research, but with a slight shift in focus. “In the past, some of our research focused a little bit more on landscape and emissions reduction potential,” said Yeo. “But as we approach critical milestones, like 2030, 2050, and the window for action closes, we really need to focus on not just who has made commitments, but being able to hold actors accountable for some of these commitments that they have made. And that includes looking at whether they plan to use offsets to achieve these targets, etc.”

At COP27, DDL Director Angel Hsu spoke on the 2022 Global Climate Action report at a side event discussing net-zero integrity and momentum. The recording of this event can be found here.