During the month of March, the UNFCCC Secretariat published a number of reports in accordance with the current transparency system of the UNFCCC.
These include an information note on the creation of a public registry for nationally determined contributions (NDCs), 19 true-up period review reports (TPRs) and the greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory review report for Canada.
Two UNFCCC meetings of lead reviewers also took place and the outcomes subsequently published.
In addition, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and Global Environment Facility (GEF) en.lighten initiative and the International Partnership on Mitigation and MRV announced transparency-related capacity-building initiatives.
31 March 2016: During the month of March, the UNFCCC Secretariat published a number of reports in accordance with the current transparency system of the UNFCCC. These include an information note on the creation of a public registry for nationally determined contributions (NDCs), 19 true-up period review reports (TPRs) and the greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory review report for Canada. Two UNFCCC meetings of lead reviewers also took place and the outcomes were subsequently published. In addition, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and Global Environment Facility (GEF) en.lighten initiative and the International Partnership on Mitigation and MRV announced transparency-related capacity-building initiatives.
At its 21st session in December 2015, the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC requested the Secretariat in Decision 1/CP.21 to create, in the first half of 2016, an interim public registry that will record NDC submissions pending the adoption of modalities and procedures for the operation and use of the public registry by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA). On 9 March 2016, the Secretariat published an information note (FCCC/SBI/2016/INF.6) on its approach to developing the interim registry and the web platform’s interface.
In the note, the Secretariat explains that the interim registry, which is to be launched prior to the 44th session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) in May 2016, will have a main landing page, a page for each Party and a submission interface for additional documentation, as well as browse and search functions. The development of the registry will proceed under the guidance of the SBI. A provisional webpage to record NDCs until the launch of the interim registry was created on the UNFCCC website on 29 March 2016. The first NDC has come from Papua New Guinea and can be downloaded from the provisional webpage. [Development and Operation of an Interim Public Registry for NDCs] [UNFCCC Press Release] [NDC Registry]
The first set of TPRs was published by the UNFCCC Secretariat on 14 March 2016 for the following countries: Austria (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/TPR/AUT); Switzerland (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/TPR/CHE); the Czech Republic (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/TPR/CZE); Monaco (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/TPR/MCO); Norway (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/TPR/NOR); and Slovenia (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/TPR/SVN). Four more were published on 17 March 2016: Denmark (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/TPR/DNK); Italy (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/TPR/ITA); Liechtenstein (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/TPR/LIE); and Slovakia (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/TPR/SVK). The TPRs for Belgium (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/TPR/BEL), Bulgaria (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/TPR/BGR), Germany (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/TPR/DEU), Estonia (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/TPR/EST), France (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/TPR/FRA), Croatia (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/TPR/HRV), Japan (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/TPR/JPN), Luxembourg (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/TPR/LUX) and the Netherlands (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/TPR/NLD) were published on 24 March 2016.
The true-up period review took place from 8-12 February 2016, during which expert review teams (ERTs) assessed whether information submitted in true-up reports from Annex I Parties that are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol 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.
All the draft review reports were finalized and sent to Parties for comments by 27 February 2016. Parties had four weeks (until 26 March 2016) to comment. The ERTs have until 9 April 2016 to respond and finalize the review reports. The Secretariat will publish the rest of the final reports as they become available.
For each of these 19 Parties whose final reports were published in March, the ERTs concluded that: the information submitted covers all elements required by relevant CMP decisions; the Party’s aggregate GHG emissions in the first commitment period (CP1) do not exceed the quantity of Kyoto Protocol units valid for CP1 in its retirement account; and the requested amounts of assigned amount units (AAUs), certified emission reductions (CERs) and emission reduction units (ERUs) to be carried over to CP2 were consistent with CMP-agreed requirements. No questions of implementation were identified by the ERTs in any Party’s case.
The UNFCCC Secretariat is coordinating a comprehensive compliance assessment, of which the true-up period review is one part, on CP1 of the Kyoto Protocol and will publish a final report for each Party that had a CP1 target. During the true-up period, Annex I Parties had 100 days to make up any shortfall in meeting their emission reduction targets in CP1.
The true-up period, lasting from 10 August to 18 November 2015, was established by Decision 27/CMP.1, which provides that, for the purpose of fulfilling their Kyoto Protocol emission reduction targets, Annex I Parties can continue to acquire AAUs, CERs, ERUs, and removal units (RMUs) up to the 100th day after the date set for the completion of the Article 8 expert review process for the last year of the commitment period. [IISD RS Sources] [Reporting and Review Process for the True-Up Period of CP1 of the Kyoto Protocol Website] [Reports on the Individual Review of the Report upon Expiration of the Additional Period for Fulfilling Commitments (True-Up Period) for CP1 of the Kyoto Protocol of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland]
On 30 March 2016, the UNFCCC Secretariat released the report (FCCC/ARR/2015/CAN) of the review of the 2015 inventory submission of Canada. The review, undertaken in accordance with the ‘UNFCCC Guidelines for the Technical Review of GHG Inventories from Parties Included in Annex I to the Convention,’ was conducted from 12-17 October 2015. The document reports on methodological, technical, reporting and other issues related to transparency, comparability, accuracy and adherence to the guidelines, as identified by the ERT in the Party’s 2015 inventory submission, as well as issues identified in previous reviews that have now been resolved. The report also relays which issues have been identified in three or more successive reviews but have yet to be resolved by the Party. [Report on the Individual Review of the Inventory Submission of Canada Submitted in 2015]
The UNFCCC Secretariat also published a Corrigendum (FCCC/ASR/2015/JPN/Corr.1) to the Status Report of the Annual Inventory of Japan, which was reported on in IISD Reporting Services’ January-February 2016 Transparency Update. The Corrigendum corrects the date of the document from 11 February 2015 to 11 February 2016. [Status Report of the Annual Inventory of Japan. Corrigendum] [January-February 2016 Transparency Update]
In related events, the 13th meeting of the GHG inventory lead reviewers concluded on 2 March 2016. The three-day meeting, held in Bonn, Germany, was an opportunity to help lead reviewers ensure the consistency of reviews across all Parties. The technical experts in attendance, representing both Annex I and non-Annex I Parties, also considered ways to improve the quality and efficiency of the reviews. The conclusions and recommendations from the meeting will be reported to the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) to inform inputs on the selection of experts and the coordination of the ERTs and the expert review process. [Conclusions and Recommendations of the 13th Meeting of GHG Inventory Lead Reviewers]
The third meeting of the Biennial Report (BR) and National Communication (NC) lead reviewers took place on 3-4 March 2016 in Bonn, Germany, and aimed to address technical and procedural issues. The experts discussed, inter alia: the success and challenges of the first round of international assessment and review (IAR); training for review experts of BRs and NCs; the approach to the reviews of second BRs and multilateral assessment (MA); improvements in the review process and review tools; the role of lead reviewers in the second BR reviews; and review practice guidance. Conclusions and recommendations in each of these areas will inform future review cycles, with a view to ensuring consistency and improving the process. [Third Meeting of BR and NC Lead Reviewers Website and Documents]
On 4 March 2016, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres honored six reviewers for “ensuring the consistency, continuity, comparability, quality and timeliness of international reviews of reports submitted by the governments” to the UNFCCC. The six honorees were: Helen Plume (Professionalism), New Zealand; Christoph Streissler (Commitment), Austria; Newton Paciornik (Leadership), Brazil; Mahendra Kumar (Team Spirit), Fiji; Harry Vreuls (Timeliness), the Netherlands; and Maria Gutierrez (Debutant of the Year), Mexico. [UNFCCC Press Release]
On transparency-related capacity-building news, the UNEP-GEF en.lighten initiative released a series of six monitoring, verification and enforcement (MVE) guidance notes as part of its Southeast Asia and Pacific MVE Project. In an effort to help countries achieve their climate change commitments, the series supports the development of an effective compliance framework for energy efficiency policies.
The guidance notes provide best practices and examples for implementation of six aspects of an effective MVE infrastructure: developing lighting product registration systems; efficient lighting market baselines and assessment; enforcing efficient lighting regulations; good practices for photometric laboratories; performance testing of lighting products; and product selection and procurement for lamp performance testing. [UNEP-GEF en.lighten Initiative Website] [Southeast Asia and Pacific MVE Project Webpage] [en.lighten Publications Webpage] [Developing Lighting Product Registration Systems] [Efficient Lighting Market Baselines and Assessment] [Enforcing Efficient Lighting Regulations] [Good Practices for Photometric Laboratories] [Performance Testing of Lighting Products] [Product Selection and Procurement for Lamp Performance Testing]
The International Partnership on Mitigation and MRV has announced the multi-donor Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT), which aims to build the long-term measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) capacity of developing countries and lay the foundation “upon which a global system for MRV could be created under the UNFCCC.” ICAT’s initial funds, totaling US$10 million, will be used in the start-up phase to partner with 20 developing countries. Managed by the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS), ICAT partners include the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the Italian Ministry for the Environment and Protection of Land and Sea, and ClimateWorks Foundation. [International Partnership on Mitigation and MRV Press Release]
The International Partnership on Mitigation and MRV also highlighted its second edition of the Global Good Practice Analysis (GPA 2.0), which was released in December 2015 on the margins of COP 21. With the addition of 19 examples to GPA 1.0’s 21 case studies, the GPA now offers 40 good practice examples related to implementing climate change mitigation measures, including MRV systems. [International Partnership on Mitigation and MRV Press Release] [GPA Webpage]
This issue of the transparency update is the second 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.