Countries’ progress on managing climate change: The first ASCOR assessment results


ASCOR Results report

Antonina Scheer, Johannes Honneth, Setenay Hizliok, Simon Dietz and Carmen Nuzzo

This report presents the results of the first data release of Assessing Sovereign Climate-related Opportunities and Risks (ASCOR), an investor-led project to develop a free, publicly available, independent tool that assesses countries on their progress in managing the low-carbon transition and the impacts of climate change. It fills a crucial market gap by providing investors with systematic assessments of sovereign climate performance, while giving sovereigns the opportunity to showcase progress. The ASCOR tool is the fruit of an unprecedented collaboration between asset owners, asset managers, investor networks and sovereign bond issuers.

In this first data release, 25 countries have been assessed within the ASCOR tool. They represent nearly 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions and 50-80% of the main sovereign bond market indices.

Key insights from the report include:

  • There is a growing emission gap due to a lack of ambition in countries’ targets and trends. Nearly all assessed countries have set an emission reduction target, but very few align with a pathway that limits global temperature rise to 1.5°C.
  • There is also an implementation gap with insufficient policies, particularly at the sector level, to meet emission reduction targets. Notably, weak or non-existent commitments to phase out fossil fuels, both subsidies and production, jeopardise a net zero future. 
  • Finally, there is an international climate finance gap. Although the US$100 billion commitment may finally be met in 2023, most assessed high-income countries need to increase their share of contributions to international climate finance. Better disclosure of developing countries’ climate finance needs could help facilitate financial flows.
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