Our Approach

The Initiative aims to help governments build capacity to measure the effects of their policies and report progress publicly, thus fostering greater transparency, effectiveness, trust and ambition in climate policies worldwide. The Initiative will improve the availability and quality of data, and enable countries to promote efficient, cost-effective policies. The Initiative will also provide a platform for countries to share lessons learned and build mutual confidence in their climate actions.

Methodological Framework

Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF)

Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF)

The Initiative is building a methodological framework for countries to use to transparently measure and assess the impacts of climate policies and actions. This includes guidance for measuring the effects of policies and actions on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, adapting to climate change, responding to sustainable development needs and driving transformational change.

The Initiative will develop the guidance in a participatory manner involving technical and country experts. The framework will accommodate different needs and national circumstances to ensure it is widely applicable and broadly supported. It will build on existing methods and approaches, such as the Policy and Action Standard (WRI/Greenhouse Gas Protocol), CDM sectoral baseline guidance, Framework for Measuring Sustainable Development in NAMAs (UNEP DTU Partnership, IISD), NAMA Sustainable Development Evaluation Tool (UNDP) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), among others.

A survey was conducted to gather stakeholder input on the methodological framework. Results are available here: ICAT Stakeholder Survey Results or view the Survey at a Glance.

Capacity Building

The Initiative aims to strengthen the capacity of developing countries to assess their climate actions (in the context of their NDCs) and report their progress in line with the Paris Agreement. This work involves working closely with governments, along with public agencies, higher education institutions and civil society bodies, to strengthen institutional arrangements, processes and procedures. The Initiative supports in-country capacity development programmes through training modules on measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) of policies and actions, and knowledge sharing of good practice and lessons learned.

The teachers in the Barefoot Colleges are an inspiration themselves. They themselves are not educated and more than that they lived in a highly conventional society. UN Women/Gaganjit Singh

UN Women/Gaganjit Singh


Participating Countries

Who's Involved

The Initiative was founded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the Italian Ministry of the Environment and the ClimateWorks Foundation. The initial funding is US$16 million.

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) manages the trust fund through which the Initiative is funded. This structure allows new donors to join the trust fund, to expand our work and its reach.

The Donor Oversight Committee provides the overall strategic direction of the Initiative, with input from the Advisory Committee. The Donor Oversight Committee includes representatives from the donors, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and UNOPS. The Advisory Committee includes leading experts from participating countries, multi-lateral organisations, civil society and think-tanks.

The implementing partners are UNEP DTU Partnership (UDP), Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and World Resources Institute (WRI). The Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance and Rainforest Alliance are supporting partners and will contribute to specific aspects of the Initiative.

The methodological framework will be developed through a broad, participatory process. For further details on the governance process through which the framework is being developed please see the Governance Plan and Terms of Reference.


Grant Support

Implementing Partners

Supporting Partners