During the month of August, the UNFCCC Secretariat released a compilation of developed country Parties' greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions based on their latest inventory submissions for 2014, as well as the final compliance reports for the first commitment period (CP1), 2008-2012, of the Kyoto Protocol.
In addition, a number of updates on national reporting from Parties on their climate change action, including status reports on GHG inventories and the reports of the technical review of second Biennial Report (BR2) submissions, were published.
25 August 2016: During the month of August, the UNFCCC Secretariat released a compilation of developed country Parties’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions based on their latest inventory submissions for 2014, as well as the final compliance reports for the first commitment period (CP1), 2008-2012, of the Kyoto Protocol. In addition, a number of updates on national reporting from Parties on their climate change action, including status reports on GHG inventories and the reports of the technical review of second Biennial Report (BR2) submissions, were published.
A transparency and compliance regime is vital for building international trust and confidence that action to address climate change is taking place, as well as for assessing how to facilitate further action.
The transparency framework developed under the UNFCCC is intended to increase the international understanding of mitigation, adaptation and other actions toward fulfilling commitments outlined in the Convention and related decisions or agreements. The transparency framework takes the form of national reporting through National Communications (NCs) from all Parties, as well as Biennial Update Reports (BURs) from non-Annex I (developing country) Parties, and BRs and annual GHG inventory submissions from Annex I (developed country) Parties.
It should be noted that the Paris Agreement, in contrast to differentiating the reporting and review requirements based on the Convention’s Annexes, establishes a common transparency framework for all countries, with a process to provide enhanced data and tracking against their commitments on mitigation, adaptation and support. Once the transparency framework under the Paris Agreement is in force, it will apply to all Parties to the Agreement, although it does allow more flexibility to take into account Parties’ different capacities.
Nineteen GHG Inventory Status Reports Released
Within three weeks of receiving a Party’s GHG inventory, the UNFCCC Secretariat prepares a draft status report as part of an initial assessment that aims to ensure each Annex I Party submits a consistent, complete and timely annual inventory in the correct format. The initial assessment is published on the UNFCCC website as a ‘status report.’
The 2016 inventories of 19 developed country Parties underwent this initial assessment, and, in the past month, the status reports were published on the Secretariat’s website for: Austria (FCCC/ASR/2016/AUT); Belarus (FCCC/ASR/2016/BLR); Belgium (FCCC/ASR/2016/BEL); Croatia (FCCC/ASR/2016/HRV); the Czech Republic (FCCC/ASR/2016/CZE); Denmark (FCCC/ASR/2016/DNK); Estonia (FCCC/ASR/2016/EST); the EU (FCCC/ASR/2016/EU); Germany (FCCC/ASR/2016/DEU); Hungary (FCCC/ASR/2016/HUN); Ireland (FCCC/ASR/2016/IRL); Kazakhstan (FCCC/ASR/2016/KAZ); Liechtenstein (FCCC/ASR/2016/LIE); Lithuania (FCCC/ASR/2016/LTU); Luxembourg (FCCC/ASR/2016/LUX); Romania (FCCC/ASR/2016/ROU); Spain (FCCC/ASR/2016/ESP); Sweden (FCCC/ASR/2016/SWE); and the UK (FCCC/ASR/2016/GBR).
The final status reports, along with the Parties’ comments on both the original draft and the status report, will be forwarded to the expert review teams (ERTs), which produce the final individual inventory review reports. [Status Report of the Annual Inventory of Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, EU, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Romania, Spain, Sweden and UK]
Compilation of Annex I Parties’ GHG Emissions Finalized
At the Lima Climate Change Conference in 2014, the Conference of the Parties (COP) requested the Secretariat in Decision 13/CP.20, paragraph 8, to “compile and tabulate aggregate information and trends concerning GHG emissions by sources and removals by sinks and trends from the latest available GHG inventory submissions” from Annex I Parties and to publish the information in a stand-alone document.
The requested document is part of the technical review of annual national GHG inventories and contains numerous tables allowing the reader to find information on sector emissions for all Annex I countries in one place. The Secretariat published the compiled information (FCCC/WEB/AGI/2016), including both base year emissions and 2014 emissions on 4 August, using the latest common reporting format (CRF) tables submitted by 43 Annex I Parties as of 29 June 2016. The tables in the report cover, by country, aggregated, energy, industrial processes and product use, agriculture, land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF), and waste emissions, as well as supplementary information for LULUCF activities under the Kyoto Protocol. [Aggregate Information on GHG Emissions by Sources and Removals by Sinks for Parties Included in Annex I to the Convention]
Two BR2 Technical Review Reports Published
Following reviews by ERTs earlier in the year, the Secretariat has now made available the reports of the technical reviews of the BR2 of two developed country Parties: Belarus (FCCC/TRR.2/BLR) and Norway (FCCC/TRR.2/NOR).
The reviews indicate that the BR2 submissions were received by the 1 January 2016 deadline. Each review analyzes the BR’s provision of information on: all GHG emissions and removals related to the Party’s quantified economy-wide emission reduction target; assumptions, conditions and methodologies related to the attainment of the target; progress made towards the achievement of the target; and provision of financial, technological and capacity-building support to developing country Parties, where applicable.
The ERT concluded that the information reported by Belarus was partially in adherence with the UNFCCC reporting guidelines on BRs. The ERT found that the information reported in Norway’s BR2 was mostly in adherence with the guidelines. [Report of the Technical Review of the BR2 of Belarus and Norway]
Secretariat Releases Kyoto Protocol CP1 Final Compliance Reports
The Secretariat coordinated the comprehensive assessment of whether Annex I Parties complied with their CP1 commitments to ensure that their aggregate anthropogenic GHG emissions do not exceed their assigned amounts, with a view to reducing their overall emissions of such gases by at least 5% below 1990 levels (Kyoto Protocol Article 3.1). During the true-up period (10 August – 18 November 2015), Annex I Parties had 100 days to make up any shortfall in meeting their emission reduction targets for CP1.
During the true-up period review (8-12 February 2016), ERTs assessed whether information submitted in developed country Kyoto Protocol Parties’ true-up reports is: reported as mandated by the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to Kyoto Protocol (CMP); consistent with information contained in the compilation and accounting database (CAD) and the Party’s registry; and free of problems or inconsistencies.
Carry-over of certified emission reductions (CERs) cannot be performed until after the true-up period or until compliance assessment for all Parties has been completed. The carry-over from offsetting mechanisms is a key element of the future regime as it could lower actual emission reductions by 2020. This could weaken the environmental integrity of a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol.
After the publication of all Annex I Parties’ True-Up Period Review Reports (TPRs), which was completed on 8 April, compilation and accounting (C&A) reports were prepared under the oversight of the relevant ERTs. The Secretariat released the C&A reports, which serve as the final “proof” of compliance, for 36 Parties on 2 August. The reports contain the final CP1 data on GHG emissions, the quantity of Kyoto Protocol units retired, and, if applicable, the units available for carry-over or the quantity by which GHG emissions exceeded the Kyoto Protocol units retired. The Secretariat notes that only Ukraine’s could not be completed, given the preliminary finding (CC-2016-1-4/Ukraine/EB) of the Compliance Committee’s Enforcement Branch and the absence of accounting information for Ukraine. [IISD RS Transparency and Compliance Update on Ukraine and the Enforcement Branch]
The countries for which C&A reports are available and their associated documents numbers are: Australia (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/AUS); Austria (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/AUT); Belgium (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/BEL); Bulgaria (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/BGR); Croatia (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/HRV); the Czech Republic (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/CZE); Denmark (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/DNK); Estonia (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/EST); the EU (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/EU); Finland (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/FIN); France (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/FRA); Germany (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/DEU); Greece (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/GRC); Hungary (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/HUN); Iceland (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/ISL); Ireland (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/IRL); Italy (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/ITA); Japan (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/JPN); Latvia (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/LVA); Liechtenstein (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/LIE); Lithuania (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/LTU); Luxembourg (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/LUX); Monaco (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/MCO); the Netherlands (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/NLD); New Zealand (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/NZL); Norway (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/NOR); Poland (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/POL); Portugal (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/PRT); Romania (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/ROU); the Russian Federation (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/RUS); Slovakia (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/SVK); Slovenia (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/SVN); Spain (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/ESP); Sweden (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/SWE); Switzerland (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/CHE); and the UK (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/CAR/GBR).
The reports will be forwarded to the CMP for its consideration in November at its 12th session. [Final Compilation and Accounting Report for Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, EU, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and UK for CP1 of the Kyoto Protocol] [Final C&A Reports for CP1 of the Kyoto Protocol Webpage]
This issue of the Transparency and Compliance Update is the seventh in a series produced by IISD RS. It aims to provide an overview of reporting activities by UNFCCC Parties, as well as the related monitoring and assessment work carried out by the UNFCCC Secretariat and other organizations.