International Programme for Action on Climate

Reader’s guide

This is the second edition of The Climate Action Monitor. It is an annual publication by the OECD prepared by the International Programme for Action on Climate (IPAC) team that provides key insights on global climate action, building on the IPAC Dashboard of climate-related indicators (, as well as other OECD research and data.1

It supports countries to make better-informed decisions and allows stakeholders to measure improvements more accurately. Alongside other IPAC deliverables such as the IPAC Dashboard, The Climate Action Monitor complements and supports the United Nations Framework Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) and Paris Agreement monitoring frameworks by reviewing key trends and developments and assessing progress in countries’ climate policies.

The specific focus of the Monitor, and more generally IPAC, is assessing and monitoring climate action. For this, IPAC has developed an analytical approach that frames this report. The analytical approach presented is based on an expanded conceptualisation of the OECD/United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Pressure-State-Response (PSR) environmental indicator model (see Box 1). The approach considers broader criteria to determine countries policy choices, such as constraints or barriers, potential social and economic impacts, and the external policy environment.

Potential constraints or barriers associated with policy responses can be divided into four key groups:

  1. 1.

    Governance: Decarbonisation policies will require effective and efficient implementation which may involve new or additional governance structures.

  2. 2.

    Critical materials: Decarbonisation policies will require the use of critical materials, such as copper and lithium, among others.

  3. 3.

    Skills, technologies and innovation: Climate change policy responses will require a set of new competencies both at the individual and institutional levels, as well as new technologies.

  4. 4.

    Finance: Policy responses may require substantial financing.

Finally, policy responses are not implemented in a policy vacuum. There may be positive external conditions, or “tailwinds”, that can help support policy responses. There may also be pushback for policy adoption, or “headwinds”, associated with negative external conditions that generate unfavourable conditions to implement policies. An obvious recent headwind is Russia’s unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine, which has affected the supply of gas to Europe, but there may be others. For example, general economic conditions, such as unemployment, debt-to-GDP ratio and/or other social inequalities, may be relevant when considering policy alternatives (Figure 1).

The Climate Action Monitor’s broader conceptual approach allows for a more comprehensive analysis of the challenges and opportunities for policy makers as they decide on and implement different policy choices in the climate change sphere. This multidisciplinary lens is the principal contribution of the OECD to the climate change policy debate, given its extensive experience in policy analysis and considering best practices.

As IPAC continues, it will develop a range of indicators associated with this broader analytical perspective and thus support countries in making informed decisions to face the climate emergency in the context of their policy approaches, institutional landscapes and economic and social realities.

Box 1. The Pressure-State-Response Framework

The Pressure-State-Response model is a conceptual framework for impact analysis designed to facilitate the provision of relevant information for evaluating and analysing environmental management. The model, developed by the OECD and adopted by other international organisations is based on the connection between environmental pressures and the associated policy response.

The PSR model was designed based on the logical sequence of the policy response to the state of the environment due to environmental pressures and human drivers. The model makes transparent the fact that the state of the environment, and its direct pressures, ultimately depend on the drivers associated with economic and social activities, such as transport, industry, population, and consumption patterns, among others.

  • Pressures on the environment: The emission and concentration of greenhouse gases constitute the main cause or direct pressure that generates climate change.

  • Drivers of climate change: The drivers of environmental pressures are determined by production and consumption patterns. The increase in production and demand for goods and services, transportation and population growth are the drivers that generate the pressures that trigger climate change.

  • State of the environment: The condition of the environment is referred to as its “state”. In the case of climate change, state is typically described using essential climate variables, such as the concentration of the different greenhouse gases and related variables. However, more generally, when referring to the “state”, how environmental change specifically impacts humans (e.g. in the increase in hazards and exposures) is of particular interest.

  • Policy response: Response refers to direct and indirect policy responses to address climate change and its impacts. These policies can be focused on the drivers or pressures or the state and impacts. More specifically, in the climate change policy sphere, response is defined as mitigation and adaptation.

Figure 1. IPAC Analytical Framework

Source: Authors’ based on PSR framework.



Countries covered by IPAC are: all OECD countries (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Türkiye, United Kingdom, United States), partner economies (Brazil, People’s Republic of China, India, Indonesia, South Africa), six prospective members (Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Peru, Romania) and other Group of 20 (G20) countries (Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia) and Malta.