Indicators for Climate NeutralUrban Districts?Louise Årman, PhD Candidatee-mail: email@example.com
Indicators – What and Why• Indicators is a communication tool that simplifies complex issues and making them accessible to a wider audience• Indicators tells part of a story in a complex reality, but need the bigger picture to be relevant• Facilitate communication and decision making with different stakeholders with different frames and intentions• Good indicators should aid the target groups to understand a complex problem In order to do so they at least need to be; - Relevant - Truthful - Comprehensible Source: Stanners et. al., 2007; Stevens, 2007
Audience – In development ofIndicators and in there Use• Indicators have long been seen as a technical fix, with deciding on indicators and data collection• More attention has lately been drawn to the development process itself• There is a need for different types of indicators communicating both simple metrics and aggregated information and this must be agreed upon Source: e.g. Rydin et. al., 2003; Holden, 2006; Swedish EPA, 2002
Examples of General Criteria forIndicator Selection• Clearly defined and scientifically representable• Responsive to target goals and audience• Data available• Numerically measurable• Spatially and temporally comparable Source: e.g. Shen et. al., 2013, Brown, 2009, EEA,• Cost-effective 2005
Typology Use within EEA• Descriptive Indicators - Answers the question “What is Happening?” e.g. total CO2 emissions• Performance Indicators - Answers the question “Are the targets being meet?” Indicators that is related to target values• Efficiency Indicators - “Is there improvement within the area?” e.g. are we lowering emissions/vehicle km• Policy Effectiveness Indicators - “Are the measures working?” Refers to indicators related to policy making and relations to actions taken and real outcome.• Total Welfare Indicators - “Are we on the whole better of?” Indicators that connect to sustainability. Source: Stanners et. al., 2007
Indicator Frameworks in Use, an example, the DPSIR Framework Technical improvements in cars Population growth • Describes and show Responses connections between Drivers different types ofIncreased CO2 indicatorsemissions •The framework can be a valuable tool in Pressures the process of Impact indicator selection Higher average State temperature Concentration of CO2 in the Source: Adapted from EEA, 2003 atmosphere
Indicator Sets in Use - SomeExamples• EEA have developed core set of indicators within different areas such as energy, transportation and climate change. Consists of 37 indicators which are regularly updated• The Covenant of Mayors, a voluntary commitment by local and regional authorities to fight climate change. The objective is to reach and exceed the EU objective of 20 % CO2 reduction by 2020 Main target areas are buildings, urban transport and equipments• The City of Whistler have taken an holistic approach towards sustainable development and climate actions• The Project Sustainable Seattle is one of the first indicators projects that embraced the importance of stakeholder involvement within the indicator process Source: EEA, 2005; Covenant of Mayors, 2010; Resort Municipality of Whistler, 2007; Sustainable Seattle 2012
Examples of Indicators and their RelationsSector EEA Core set of Place in the Type of Indicator Indicators DPSIR (examples) FrameworkClimate Change Greenhouse gas Pressure Performance emission trends indicatorClimate Change Global and State Performance European Indicator temperatureEnergy Final energy Driving Force Descriptive consumption by Indicator sectorEnergy Renewable Response Performance electricity Indicator consumptionTransportation Passenger Driving Force Descriptive transport demand IndicatorTransportation Use of cleaner and Response Policy Effective alternative fuels Indicator Source: EEA
Challenges with Indicators• A poorly developed indicator can guide in the wrong direction• Challenging to encapsulate complex information in one metrics• Can be challenging to find good and transparent data• Overload of indicator sets available, does it really matter?
Summary• Well developed indicators can be an efficient communication tool• It exists several types of frameworks and indicator sets• Many of the indicators developed for climate actions are similar• Indicators can also pose many challenges and are only part of the solution
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