Beyond the targets: assessing the political credibility of pledges for the Paris Agreement


This report provides the results of an analysis of “intended nationally determined contributions”, or INDCs, that were submitted by more than 180 countries ahead of the Paris climate change summit in December 2015, focusing on the credibility, rather than the ambition, of pledges about future emissions.

No G20 country is found to have ‘no credible basis’ for their INDC across the determinants explored in this analysis. However, there are significant differences in the level of and balance among the determinants of credibility for the individual countries. Notably, three broad groups of countries can be identified:

  • Countries with most of the determinants at a level ‘largely supportive’ to credibility; this includes the EU and its individual G20 members (France, Germany, Italy and the UK), as well as South Korea;
  • Countries with most of the determinants at least ‘moderately supportive’ to credibility, but displaying significant weakness in one of the determinants; this includes Australia, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, South Africa and the US;
  • Countries that have scope to significantly increase their credibility across most determinants. These are Argentina, Canada, China, India, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.