IGES Report Calls for Simplified Reporting Rules under Paris Agreement
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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The publication underscores the importance of ensuring that the communication system of national reports is designed in such a way that each country can meet and strengthen its targets.

The report looks at Japan’s industrial sectors, which provide examples of voluntary-based schemes that have improved the validity of actions.

July 2018: The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) has published a report that contends that the success of the Paris Agreement on climate change will depend on the design of its rules, including on transparency and reporting, which the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the UNFCCC is expected to adopt in Katowice, Poland, in December 2018.

The report titled, ‘Designing the Rules of the Paris Agreement: Creating a Workable Framework beyond Transparency,’ underscores the importance of ensuring that the communication system of national reports is designed in such a way that each country can meet and strengthen its targets. It notes that the current transparency framework is insufficient, and that enhancing the mitigation targets of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) will not guarantee changes unless they are followed by implementation of national domestic measures.

Under the Paris Agreement, NDCs and policies and measures are voluntary. However, their formulation and communication (every five years), and reporting and review of progress (every two years) are mandatory. Therefore, the report emphasizes, the mandatory reporting and review system for NDCs under the Paris Agreement must be effective.

The report analyzes several review schemes apart from that which currently exists under the UNFCCC. It looks, in particular, at Japan’s industrial sectors, which provide examples of voluntary-based schemes that have improved the validity of actions. These examples are the Keidanren’s Voluntary Action Plan on the Environment (which ended in 2012), and the Energy Management System under the Energy Conservation Law.

Since NDCs and policies and measures under the Paris Agreement are voluntary, the mandatory reporting and review system must be effective.

These schemes specify, in their reporting templates, the setting and monitoring of indicators to evaluate the effectiveness of actions and progress on their enhancement. Those preparing the reports can fill in the templates, representing a less complex and burdensome reporting process than that under the UNFCCC, which requires each Party to prepare and communicate its NDCs and report biennially.

The study, inter alia: summarizes good practice concepts for rule making; proposes a method for assessing progress towards achieving NDC mitigation targets, which is more broadly applicable to many types of targets; and suggests a method for factor analysis that allows for “self-analysis” of past actions and future NDC targets. The report introduces practical and effective approaches for both developing countries with limited resources and capacity and developed countries.

The report compares these proposals with the those in the current negotiation texts under the UNFCCC, and considers whether such schemes can work for Parties. It concludes that various tools in the form of guidance and templates that are operational in developing countries will likely be needed following development of the Paris Agreement “rulebook.” [Publication: Designing the Rules of the Paris Agreement: Creating a Workable Framework beyond Transparency Report]


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