Develop protocols, institutions, and technologies for monitoring and verifying compliance with international agreements. In addition to research on international agreements, decisions about participating in such agreements need to be made with full awareness of the institutional and technological capabilities for monitoring and verifying that participants to the agreement are fulfilling their commitments, and for informing future policy changes or refinements in an adaptive risk-management framework. Observations of GHG emissions and concentrations are an especially pressing need and are the subject of a recent NRC study (see NRC, 2010k). A system of observations and measurements designed to support international agreements or financial transactions (for example, a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions) will likely have to meet a higher level of scrutiny than systems used purely for scientific research. In particular, systems to support treaty compliance need to pay special attention to data surety, authentication, reliability, accuracy, and transparency. For use in verification, GHG measurements must be accurate and have sufficient spatial and temporal coverage to distinguish human emissions from natural background variations. An additional and related concern relates to the need to monitor what different actors, including states and private organizations, are doing and how it interplays and affects overall policy goals. For example, a single country or even a private organization may attempt to implement large-scale solar radiation management (see Chapter 15). Observing systems designed to monitor and verify treaty compliance could also be used to monitor and support evaluations of the direct impacts and unintended consequences of such approaches. Better measurements will need to be integrated with a better understanding of how standards and certification can be used effectively to encourage compliance. Research is also needed on the links among measurements, effective enforcement strategies, and standards and certification.
Continue to improve methods for estimating costs, benefits, and cost effectiveness. Research on valuation is advancing in part through improved methodologies for eliciting stated preferences, especially through methods that draw on approaches from decision sciences (such as making valuation a problem for public deliberation) and in part by the accumulation of more valuation studies that make integration and cross-study comparisons (or meta-analyses) feasible. Finding appropriate discount rates and identifying appropriate ways to handle equity effects of climate policies are in part public choices, but a program of scientific analysis can both identify better ways to handle these issues in benefit-cost and cost-effectiveness analyses and develop tools for better assessing the appropriate values to use, including valid and reliable methods of eliciting preferences. Better characterization of uncertainty across all aspects of climate change science and better integration of uncertainty into analytical tools are also extremely important for improving policy design. Finally, better