ClEP (ACRP 9) – Climate and Energy Policy Indicators in the Context of Sustainable Development Goals
Auftraggeber: Klima- und Energiefonds
Studie von: Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung – Institut für Höhere Studien
The project ClEP (in the framework of the Austrian Climate Research Programme ACRP) focuses on improved measurement approaches
in the context of the Paris Climate Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals aiming at designing operational indicators
that emphasise the role of energy services instead of energy flows for welfare with a focus on energy services in residential
buildings, mobility and manufacturing; coverage of the three dimensions of sustainable development; discussion of interdependencies
between indicators and specification of synergies and trade-offs; development of composite indices for climate and energy
policy progress covering all dimensions of sustainable development.
Forschungsbereich:Umwelt, Landwirtschaft und Energie
Both the UN SDGs and the Paris Agreement imply ambitious long-term targets which only can be met with a fundamental restructuring
of economic and social systems. We propose a set of energy and climate policy indicators that allows informed policy making
and goes beyond the approaches that mainly focus on progress based on the UN indicator set. The sustainable energy indicators
cover the whole energy system as well as the three dimensions of sustainability. The approach combines an energy service centred
perspective with research on energy and climate indicators and embeds the indicator framework in broader socio-ecologic context.
For the four demand-side sectors a set of 118 high-level energy indicators has been assembled that can be further disaggregated
to about 387 indicators. For electricity and heat supply a set of 25 energy indicators has been compiled that can be further
disaggregated to about 130 indicators differentiating by energy source and plant type. Interactions (i.e., synergies and conflicts)
between the different target dimensions and the corresponding indicators need to be carefully considered. Given the complexity
of the issue and the lack of adequate indicators and gaps in data availability it is difficult to interpret certain observable
trends. This needs to be kept in mind when using the indicator system for policy analysis.
Two major international frameworks provide landmarks for future development paths: the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
and the Paris Climate Agreement. Monitoring the progress towards achieving the individual goals has to consider a multitude
of synergies and trade-offs. In this paper we use composite indices to analyse climate and energy policy in Austria and other
selected EU countries. The analysis delivers several results which are also supported by the assessment of climate and energy
policies in the case study countries. In general, the improvements regarding energy efficiency, emissions and deployment of
renewables have been moderate in the period under observation. This hints at the time needed for restructuring to take place.
This underlines the importance of credible political commitment to climate targets, the implementation of ambitious instruments
and the need for stability in the guiding frameworks in order to effectuate substantial changes. In addition, the description
of the circumstances and policy frameworks in the selected countries shows, that each one is characterised by a very specific
energy system (complemented by specific social structures) which determines the challenges that have to be overcome on the
way to decarbonisation.