Information overload? A review of databases on climate change mitigation policy

This briefing presents a review of 24 databases on climate change policies, with a focus on climate change mitigation policies. The review, the first step in a larger analysis, focuses on understanding what information is available. Information on policies mitigating climate change, which could meet key information needs in a post-Paris world, is increasingly available in online databases. However, the available information suffers from several shortcomings. First, there is an uneven geographical distribution of the available data, with little information available about some regions of the world (e.g. sub-Saharan Africa). Second, information about policies is available mostly for the energy sector, while other areas (e.g. agriculture) are underrepresented. Third, databases overall shy away from reporting on costs, actual emissions savings or policy interactions, and also tend to eschew comparisons between jurisdictions. Fourth, databases seem to be insufficiently linked with one another, thus forgoing synergies. These findings are very preliminary in nature, and the points evoked above warrant deeper analysis and further research in order to make policy information relevant to policy-makers.