This guide collects instructions for the preparation of an effective emissions reduction action plan. It includes clear principles and provides examples of the formulation of targets, indicators and actions and general instructions for preparing an action plan and managing it throughout its lifecycle. While the focus is on emissions reduction action plans, the majority of these principles can be applied as is to the preparation of other types of action plans and programmes as well.
Climate targets are constantly growing more rigorous. In spite of this, the effectiveness of climate actions has hardly increased. Familiar measures that have failed time and again to bring about systematic change at the right scale keep being repeated from one action plan to the next. Often the actual target, which for climate change mitigation actions is reducing emissions, seems to fall by the wayside as efforts become increasingly dominated by other objectives, acceptance and convenience. However, when operating under tight deadlines and with limited resources, what matters is the effectiveness of the chosen actions, not their convenience. The fact is that when it comes to mitigating climate change, not all measures are equally necessary. The most important thing is to identify a target and choose the most effective measures for achieving it. Any busywork that is not relevant to the target should simply be set aside.