Innovation & Action

Climate Cooperative Initiatives Database (C-CID): Data Overview

This report provides background information and an overview of data on cooperative climate initiatives featured on the State and Trends on Adaptation Knowledge Exchange (STAKE) based on the Climate Cooperative Initiatives Database (C-CID).


Cooperative climate initiatives are collaborative arrangements between two or more actors that include at least one ‘non-state actor’ (such as businesses, investors, civil society organizations, faith-based organizations) or one ‘subnational actor’ (such as municipalities, local communities, and regional governments) with the objective of addressing climate mitigation or climate adaptation. The focus on cooperative climate initiatives is particularly interesting in the light of recent studies that estimate their climate mitigation potential as considerably higher than individual initiatives and commitments by non-state and subnational actors. However, climate initiatives not only address mitigation, some focus mainly on adaptation while others deliver both mitigation and adaptation benefits. Moreover, they play an important role in furthering Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and building capacity and resilience against climate change impacts alongside governments. Understanding the contributions of non-state and subnational actors will also be crucial in reviewing progress towards the SDGs.

Because of the enormous potential of cooperative climate initiatives to further a climate-resilient and low-carbon future, international organizations and governments have sought to mobilize more actors to engage in initiatives, for instance through the ‘Marrakech Partnership on Global Climate Action’ under the leadership of High-Level Climate Champions around UN Climate Conferences, the 2019 UN Climate Summit convened by UN Secretary General António Guterres as well as through platforms in regions and countries as diverse as Latin-America, Europe, Japan, and the US.,

The Climate Cooperative Initiatives Database (C-CID) provides a uniquely comprehensive sample of cooperative climate initiatives, including 298 initiatives launched at climate summits and initiatives mobilized in international processes, specifically: the 2014 UN Climate Summit, the Lima-Paris Action Agenda (2014-2016), the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action (since 2016), the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit, the Agenda for People and Nature and the 2019 UN Climate Summit. he database includes data on: (i) targets (e.g. thematic areas they address; types of targets set; target years; mitigation and/or adaptation focus); (ii) organizational characteristics (e.g. budgets, secretariats, monitoring mechanisms); (iii) participants’ characteristics (e.g. location, number and types of participants); (iv) types of functions (e.g. norm and standard-setting, campaigning, lobbying, training, on-the-ground - pilot - projects, research, etc.) and planned activities (e.g. planned countries of implementation); as well as (v) tangible outputs (e.g. training manuals, seminars, conferences, publication of studies, physical infrastructure). C-CID also evaluates the performance of cooperative initiatives by applying a simplified log-framing methodology (the so-called Function-Output-Fit or FOF) to assess whether an initiative produces outputs that match its functions., For instance, an initiative that aims to raise awareness of climate impacts can be expected to produce campaigning material and public events whereas an initiative that aims to make infrastructure weatherproof should make infrastructural adjustments accordingly.

Data in the STAKE Platform

The State and Trends in Adaptation Knowledge Exchange (STAKE) tracks cooperative climate initiatives using C-CID data on:

  • Main climate policy focus: does an initiative focus on climate change mitigation or adaptation, or both?
  • Launch year: when was an initiative launched?
  • SDG Linkages: to which Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) does an initiative contribute to?
  • Types of targets: which are the targets that initiatives set?
  • Participants: Type, name and number of participants on cooperative initiatives
  • Countries of implementation: in which countries does an initiative (plan to) implement?

Overview of C-CID data in the STAKE platform

Main climate policy focus

C-CID considers an initiative as mainly mitigation when its main objective is to reduce greenhouse gases. An initiative is considered as mainly adaptation when its main objective is to adapt to the impacts of climate change. An initiative is considered equally mitigation and adaptation or mixed when it is equally addressing mitigation and adaptation as main objectives.

Shares of ‘mainly adaptation’; ‘mainly mitigation’; and ‘equally adaptation and mitigation’ initiatives in C-CID

Launch year

C-CID records the year in which an initiative was launched, and - if available - the year an initiative expired. Moreover, if outputs were found in years before a launch year, C-CID assumes an initiative was operational in the earliest year in which outputs are found.

Growth of cooperative initiatives since 2008

Number of newly recorded cooperative initiatives per year, 2020 yet incomplete

SDG Linkages

C-CID collects data on initiatives’ explicit references to SDGs, based on self-descriptions (e.g. on their websites). Explicit linkages occur when there is a direct reference to a SDG or SDG target with a number 'SDG+#', or a 'target+#.#', AND/OR, the self-description of the initiative contains the following keywords (see below, arranged by SDG).

Keywords search to identify explicit SDG linkages



1 – no poverty

Poor OR poverty OR vulnerable OR vulnerability (relating to people); eradicat* (of) poverty; marginal; disadvantaged; “extreme poverty”; “social protection”

2 – zero hunger

Hunger; „food security“; (mal)nutrition; sustainable OR climate-smart OR resilient agriculture

3 – good health and well-being

Health (relating to humans); Mortality; Name of a disease AND health; “Air quality”; “air pollution”

4 quality education

“access to education”; Primary OR secondary OR vocational OR tertiary education; Scholarship* (for higher education, for students from developing countries); “qualified teachers” / “teacher training”

5 – gender equality

“discriminat* against” (referring to women and girls); “violence against” (referring to women and girls): sexual AND/OR reproductive; “empowerment of women”

6 – clean water and sanitation

“Access to (drinking) water”; Sanitation; “water quality”: Water AND management: “water-use”; “water scarcity”; “water conservation”; “drought”

7 – affordable and clean energy

„renewable OR clean energy“ (related to increase)

Access AND energy

“Energy infrastructure OR technology “

8 – decent work and economic growth

Economic productivity AND increase; “ jobs” OR “ employment”; “just transition”; “economic growth”; “Equal pay“; “Forced labor” OR “slavery” OR “human trafficking”; working environment; employment

9 – industry, innovation and infrastructure

„Sustainable AND/OR resilient infrastructure”; Industriali* AND sustainable / sustainability; resource AND efficien*; Technolog*; Innovat* AND/OR infrastructur*; Access to internet OR ICT

10 – reduced inequalities

Inequa* AND/OR Equality (referring to inequality within and/or between countries)“; inclusion (referring to social AND/OR economic AND/OR political); Equality AND increase OR inequality AND decrease; special and differential treatment for developing countries

11 – sustainable cities

housing; “Access to basic services” (referring to city dwellers); Transport AND sustainab*; buildings; “Air quality”; “city” AND/OR sustainable; “municipal”

12 – responsible consumption and production

Efficiency (referring to resource-use); “waste” (relating to food or resources); recycl* /reuse/circular; Sustainable tourism; “Fossil-fuel subsid*”; diet

13 – climate action


14 – life below water

Marine; coast*; *fish*; species (relating to species below water); ocean*; “blue carbon”

15 – life on land

“Terrestrial” OR forests AND conservation OR restoration deforest* OR desertif* OR poach* OR extinct*; species (relating to species on land); soil; “nature-based solutions”; Biodiversity AND protection

16 – peace, justice and strong institutions

Violence (including against children )“Rule of law”; “justice”; Corrupt*; “fundamental freedoms”; Participation (relating to decision making); conflict

17 – partnerships for the goals

International collaboration/cooperation OR assistance for developing countries;

Policy coordination OR policy coherence; Capacity building (to developing countries)

Share of linkages to SDGs

Types of targets

C-CID identifies the following types of targets:

  • emissions reduction targets;
  • energy efficiency targets;
  • renewable energy targets;
  • targets expressed in numbers of organization/countries/people affected;
  • targets expressed in number of organizations (newly) engaged;
  • targets expressed in area(s) protected/improved/restored;
  • targets expressed in market shares/sales/scale of adoption of products or solutions;
  • targets expressed in funds mobilized/raised.

Share of targets by type


C-CID records which actors and actor types are participating in initiatives and in which countries they are based. C-CID identifies the following actor categories.

Actor types and definitions

Name Description

national governments

State actors (including national agencies, ministries and governments; including the EU, excludes state owned enterprises (SOEs).

subnational governments

Includes constituent states of federal countries (e.g. California, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Andhra Pradesh, Wallonia etc.), dependent territories (e.g. Bonaire, Greenland, Cook Islands, Gibraltar, Guam, etc.), departments (Fr), provinces and counties (Noord-Holland, British Columbia, Gironde, etc.), and cities and villages. Also includes (trans- and international) alliances of regions (e.g. ‘Euregio’), and alliances of sub-national actors (e.g. C40, ICLEI, etc.).

business & industry

For-profit firms, corporations, Small and Medium Enterprises (SME)s, State-Owned Enterprises (SOE)s, and also business associations and business NGOs, e.g. WBCSD. Excludes: banks; capital management, and investment firms.

large investors

Banks (NOT public [multilateral] development banks), capital management, private equity firms, shareholder groups, investment firms, and pension funds.

international non-profits & NGOs

Non-governmental, non-profit organizations and NGOs, including environmental NGOs, consumer organizations, trade unions, faith-based organizations, indigenous groups, women's rights organizations, etc. - operating internationally.

Excludes business NGOs and business associations and alliances of sub-national actors!

domestic non-profits & NGOs

Non-governmental non-profit organizations and NGOs, including environmental NGOs, consumer organizations, trade unions, faith-based organizations, indigenous groups, women's rights organizations, etc. - operating nationally.

Excludes business NGOs and business associations and alliances of sub-national actors!

international organizations

Enter the number of international membership organizations, including UN programmes, bodies and specialist organizations, for instance: UNEP, FAO, IEA, OECD. Include international development banks and financial facilities, for instance IMF, World Bank, Green Climate Fund. Excludes the EU.

research & education

Research and education institutions, including universities, research networks (unless the climate initiative is a research network, then all partners need to be coded separately) and think tanks.


Actors which do not belong to the above actor type categories, or which type is unknown. Also, when multi-stakeholder arrangements are a partner in an initiative (e.g. public-private partnerships, business-ngo alliances, etc.), they should be coded under ‘other’.

Share of participants in initiatives by actor type

Countries of implementation

C-CID collects information on the geography of implementation, specifically based on self-reported data on the countries in which cooperative initiatives plan to implement their activities. Geographic patterns of implementation solely based on planned countries of implementation may lead to an overestimation of the number of locations where activities are actually implemented.

Top countries of implementation

Further development of C-CID

Robust tracking of adaptation initiatives is necessary to make climate adaptation by non-state and subnational climate actions in developing countries visible and to understand (potential) impacts on environmental and social indicators. GCA will firmly embed a research focus on ‘non-state and subnational climate adaptation’ which explores engagement at multiple levels of governance; develops regular tracking on adaptation and resilience indicators that facilitates comparative assessments over large sets; and identifies drivers and roadblocks to the effectiveness of such action.


C-CID was developed with generous support from Volkswagen Stiftung (grant no. 93341) and the ‘Klimalog’ research and dialogue project at the German Development Institute/Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the IKEA Foundation (grant no. G-2001-01507). The 2020 C-CID update includes contributions by: Idil Boran and Megan White (York University, Canada); Andrew Deneault and Johannes Brehm (DIE); Bianca Nagasawa de Souza and Mishel Mohan (GCA); Aron Teunissen (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); and, Miriam Garcia (University of São Paulo).

List of references

Chan, S., & Amling, W. (2019). Does orchestration in the Global Climate Action Agenda effectively prioritize and mobilize transnational climate adaptation action?. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 19(4-5), 429-446.

Chan, S., Boran, I., van Asselt, H., Iacobuta, G., Niles, N., Rietig, K., ... & Eichhorn, F. (2019). Promises and risks of nonstate action in climate and sustainability governance. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 10(3), e572.

Chan, S., Hale, T., Mbeva, K.L., Shrivastava, M.K. (2020) Climate Cooperative Initiative Database (C-CID). Database. German Development Institute/Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Blavatnik School of Government (BSG) at the University of Oxford, African Center for Technology Studies (ACTS), TERI School of Advanced Studies.

Chan, S., Ellinger, P., & Widerberg, O. (2018a). Exploring national and regional orchestration of non-state action for a< 1.5 C world. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 18(1), 135-152.

Chan, S. , Falkner, R. , Goldberg, M. , & van Asselt, H. (2018b). Effective and geographically balanced? An output-based assessment of non-state climate actions. Climate Policy , 18 (1), 24–35.

Dzebo, A. (2019). Effective governance of transnational adaptation initiatives. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 19(4-5), 447-466.

Lui, S., Kuramochi, T., Smit, S., Roelfsema, M., Hsu, A., Weinfurter, A., ... & Jose de Villafranca Casas, M. (2020). Correcting course: the emission reduction potential of international cooperative initiatives. Climate Policy, 1-19.

NewClimate Institute . (2019). Global climate action from cities, regions and businesses: Impact of individual actors and cooperative initiatives on global and national emissions. 2019 edition. NewClimate Institute, Data-Driven Lab, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, German Development Institute/Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford.

Pattberg, P. H., Biermann, F., Chan, S., & Mert, A. (Eds.). (2012). Public-private partnerships for sustainable development: Emergence, influence and legitimacy. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Persson, Å., Weitz, N., & Nilsson, M. (2016). Follow‐up and review of the Sustainable Development Goals: Alignment vs. internalization. Review of European, Comparative & International Environmental Law, 25(1), 59-68.

UNFCCC (2017). Yearbook of climate action 2017. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Bonn. Accessed on 11 November 2020.

UNFCCC (2018). Yearbook of climate action 2018. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Bonn. Accessed on 11 November 2020.

UNFCCC (2019). Yearbook of climate action 2019. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Bonn. Accessed on 11 November 2020.

UNFCCC (2020). Yearbook of climate action 2020. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Bonn. Accessed on 11 November 2020.