I am studying global climate initiatives because I want to find out what explains the variation in implementation of these initiatives in order to help my reader understand whether or not international action to combat climate change is effective and how solutions can be crafted to create equality in burden sharing and make significant environmental progress.
In a large-N statistical analysis of my project, my dependent variable would be how much a country is lowering their greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the four main greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and fluorinated gases. In measuring my dependent variable, I would use the ‘total greenhouse gas emissions’ statistic measured in kilotons of carbon dioxide equivalent from World Bank’s DataBank, which includes the four main greenhouse gases as listed by the EPA, and is sourced from the European Commission’s Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research. This database gives emissions levels by year, which I could use as interval data. This would be my dependent variable because many global climate initiatives, such as the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement focus on slashing greenhouse gas emissions or even creating binding emissions reduction targets. I could also narrow down this variable into specific gas emissions, such as Perfluorocarbon which is a byproduct of certain manufacturing processes, or narrow it down to specific sectors of the economy, such as agricultural emissions or emissions from transportation. The cases I would study with this dependent variable are all 264 countries and regions that the World Bank’s World Development Indicators dataset has information on.
The limitations of this data set are that it does not have data on certain countries for every year. For example, there is no emissions data for Afghanistan from the year 2013 to present day, due to conflict in the region. Another limitation is that the data excludes emissions from some biomass burning, like the incineration of agricultural waste, which is a large source of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as other gases which are not included in the main four greenhouse gases.
 “Overview of Greenhouse Gases,” Overviews and Factsheets, US EPA, December 23, 2015, https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/overview-greenhouse-gases.
 “World Development Indicators | DataBank,” accessed October 11, 2019, https://databank.worldbank.org/reports.aspx?source=world-development-indicators.
 Hiroki Iwata and Keisuke Okada, “Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Role of the Kyoto Protocol,” Environmental Economics & Policy Studies 16, no. 4 (October 2014): 325, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10018-012-0047-1; Jana Lippelt and Lea Mayer, “After the Paris Agreement – What’s Next? Worldwide Implementation,” CESifo Forum; München 18, no. 4 (Winter 2017): 43.
 “World Development Indicators | DataBank.”
 “Air Pollution | Partnership for Policy Integrity,” accessed October 11, 2019, https://www.pfpi.net/air-pollution-2.