Climate Cooperative Initiatives Database (C-CID)


The Climate Cooperative Initiatives Database (C-CID) (previously known as GAFCA or the ClimateSouth Initiatives Database) gathers aggregate data on initiatives by non-state and subnational actors (‘climate actions’) that address aspects of climate change, including mitigation and adaptation. C-CID serves as a tool in the analyses of a large set of cooperative climate actions in global climate governance. C-CID analyses can inform strategic interventions by international organizations, governments and other ‘orchestrators’ of climate action, for example to broker new collaborative initiatives where they do not yet exist, or to support initiatives that (comparatively) underperform. The  sample of C-CID consists of all cooperative climate actions launched at major international climate conferences and summits since 2014. The immediate policy relevance of tracking and analyzing this set of climate actions relates to the question of how the the international community should follow up with climate actions that have been announced and launched at climate summits and conferences and international processes such as the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action.

C-CID gathers multiple types of data, including on:

  • Actors
  • Organizational characteristics and targets
  • Geographies of implementation
  • Functions, outputs and ‘output performance’ (‘Function-Output-Fits’)
  • COVID-19 responses (since 2020)

The collection of data on actors renders an aggregate view of patterns of participation in climate actions, for instance ‘who participates in climate actions’; ‘which type of actors lead climate actions’; ‘how many and which types of businesses are involved in climate action’. Such data could be used to determine the extent to which climate actions engage underrepresented voices in the formal climate regime. Patterns of participation could also indicate to which extent climate actions are ‘northern driven’, or led by international organizations.

Organizational characteristics
Organizational characteristics, for instance on ‘institutional openness’ (whether a climate action is open for new partners), monitoring arrangements, and staffing, indicate varying degrees of institutionalization. In several studies deeper institutionalization has been associated with greater effectiveness. Organizational characteristics could therefore indicate the likelihood of an action’s effectiveness, even when it has only been launched recently. Target-setting, moreover, indicates the potential of a climate action.

Geography of implementation
C-CID gathers data on  countries of implementation of climate actions which allows for a better understanding of their geographic focus. In the context of global climate governance, this question is extremely relevant because the greatest financial and policy deficits to abate, and to adapt to, climate change are found in developing countries, in particular the least developed and low-lying ones. Based on data on geography of implementation, international organizations, governments and other orchestrators could strategically steer towards undoing imbalances.

C-CID’s main dependent variable is the Function-Output-Fit (FOF). The computing of FOF requires (1) an explicit and well-defined range of functions; (2) explicit and well-defined categories of outputs; and (3) a theoretical linking between functions and necessary outputs. The underlying logic is that a climate action’s declared aim (or function) should be consistent with its outputs. For instance, a climate initiative declaring training as its function should be expected to produce a curricular programme and to organize seminars. Conversely, a training initiative that produces knowledge (and nothing else) may be considered ‘active’, but its output would not fit its declared training function.

C-CID distinguishes 12 functional categories, and 26 output categories.

Subsequent analyses could inform more strategic efforts to mobilize and orchestrate non-state actions in a fundamentally fragmented climate governance environment. Moreover, the publication of C-CID performance analyses could stimulate greater transparency and effectiveness among climate actions, eventually inspiring an upward cycle of non-state and subnational climate ambitions.

Research team

Dr Sander Chan, Global Center on Adaptatation; German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE); Utrecht University

Andrew Deneault, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

Johannes Brehm, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

Dr Thomas Hale, Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford

Dr Robert Falkner, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) (Global Aggregator for Climate Actions – GAFCA, 2014-2015)

Matthew Goldberg (LSE) (Global Aggregator for Climate Actions – GAFCA, 2014-2015)

Dr Harro van Asselt, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI); University of Eastern Finland (Global Aggregator for Climate Actions – GAFCA, 2014-2015)

Selected publications

First working paper presenting results on the output performance of 52 Climate Actions announced at the 2014 UN Climate Summit.

Climate Policy article “Effective and geographically balanced? An output-based assessment of non-state climate actions“. (Open Acccess)

International Environmental  article “Effective and geographically balanced? An output-based assessment of non-state climate actions“. (Open Acccess)

C-CID: DIE, Volkswagen Foundation, IKEA Foundation

CSD: DIE, Volkswagen Foundation

GAFCA: DIE, LSE, Climate Policy Innovation Fund by ESRC Center for Climate Change Economics & Policy

climate policy & sustainability researcher – advisor – activist