In the last month, the UNFCCC Secretariat has released updates regarding national reporting from Parties on their climate change action, including status reports on greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories, reports of the technical review of Biennial Report (BR) submissions, and the summary report on the technical analysis of Andorra's first Biennial Update Report (BUR).
Also in June, the Enforcement Branch took up questions of implementation with respect to Ukraine under the Kyoto Protocol, and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) approved a financial initiative and trust fund for the Paris Agreement's Capacity Building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT).
1 July 2016: In the last month, the UNFCCC Secretariat has released updates regarding national reporting from Parties on their climate change action, including status reports on greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories, reports of the technical review of Biennial Report (BR) submissions, and the summary report on the technical analysis of Andorra’s first Biennial Update Report (BUR). Also in June, the Enforcement Branch took up questions of implementation with respect to Ukraine under the Kyoto Protocol, and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) approved a financial initiative and trust fund for the Paris Agreement’s Capacity Building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT).
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. Capacity building in this area helps developing countries fully participate in the transparency and compliance regime. During June, several resources in this area were also released.
UNFCCC Secretariat Releases National Reporting Updates
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 BURs from non-Annex I (developing country) Parties, and BRs and annual GHG inventory submissions from Annex I (developed country) Parties.
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 seven developed country Parties underwent this initial assessment, and the status reports for these countries, Bulgaria (FCCC/ASR/2016/BGR), Canada (FCCC/ASR/2016/CAN), Japan (FCCC/ASR/2016/JPN), New Zealand (FCCC/ASR/2016/NZL), Portugal (FCCC/ASR/2016/PRT), the Russian Federation (FCCC/ASR/2016/RUS) and Turkey (FCCC/ASR/2016/TUR), were published on the Secretariat’s website in June. 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 Bulgaria, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Portugal, Russian Federation and Turkey]
Following reviews by ERTs in March, the Secretariat published in June the technical reviews of the second BRs (BR2s) of 11 developed country Parties: Austria (FCCC/TRR.2/AUT), Belgium (FCCC/TRR.2/BEL), Croatia (FCCC/TRR.2/HRV), Estonia (FCCC/TRR.2/EST), Germany (FCCC/TRR.2/DEU), Latvia (FCCC/TRR.2/LVA), Lithuania (FCCC/TRR.2/LTU), Malta (FCCC/TRR.2/MLT), the Netherlands (FCCC/TRR.2/NLD), Poland (FCCC/TRR.2/POL) and Sweden (FCCC/TRR.2/SWE).
The reviews indicate that the initial BR2 submissions were received by the deadline of 1 January 2016, with the exception of Malta, which submitted on 7 January. In all cases, the ERT concluded that the reported information was mostly in adherence with the UNFCCC reporting guidelines on BRs. 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. [Reports of the Technical Review of the BR2 of Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Poland and Sweden]
The Secretariat also published the summary report (FCCC/SBI/ICA/2015/TASR.1/AND) on the technical analysis of Andorra’s first BUR, which was submitted on 19 December 2014.
The technical analysis, which was conducted by a team of technical experts (TTE) from 18-22 May 2015, is one of two steps to the international consultation and analysis (ICA) process. ICA is the verification part of the measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) system for developing country parties under the Convention. After the technical analysis, a facilitative sharing of views (FSV) will take place in the form of written questions in advance and a workshop with a presentation and Q&A during a Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) session.
The report analyzes the extent to which all elements in the ICA guidelines were included in Andorra’s BUR and examines how the Party is advancing its ability to transparently and accurately report the relevant information. The TTE and Party also identify the country’s nine priority capacity-building needs for reporting. [Summary Report on the Technical Analysis of Andorra’s First BUR]
Kyoto Protocol Enforcement Branch Examines Ukraine’s Compliance
Under the Kyoto Protocol’s compliance mechanism, the Enforcement Branch of the Compliance Committee takes up the questions of a Party’s compliance with its commitments. The Enforcement Branch convened its 28th meeting on 20-21 June in Bonn, Germany. It considered the questions of implementation raised in Ukraine’s True-Up Period Review Report (TPR) (FCCC/KP/CMP/2016/TPR/UKR). TPRs are intended to enable the determination of the Party’s compliance with its emission reductions obligations.
Reporting its preliminary findings at the conclusion of its meeting, the Branch stated that Ukraine was not in compliance with provisions in Kyoto Protocol Articles 7.1 and 7.4 on inventories, preparation of NCs and modalities for accounting, as well as related mandatory requirements. As a result, the Branch determined Ukraine could not demonstrate its compliance with its quantified emission limitation and reduction commitment (QELRC). The Branch indicates this decision will result in Ukraine’s suspension from participation in the Protocol’s Joint Implementation (Article 6), Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) (Article 12) and emissions trading (Article 17) until resolving the question of implementation through a plan required by the Enforcement Branch. The Branch will meet again to take a final decision, after considering any additional information from Ukraine, at which point the consequences in the preliminary findings will take effect. [Enforcement Branch Webpage] [Enforcement Branch 28th Meeting Webcast] [IISD RS Transparency and Compliance Update Including Ukraine’s TPR]
GEF Council Supports Transparency under Paris Agreement
At its 50th meeting, the GEF Council approved the trust fund for the CBIT established by the Paris Agreement. The funding will build the capacity of developing countries to monitor and report their progress toward achieving their nationally determined contributions (NDCs). Pointing to the Agreement’s bottom-up approach, GEF CEO Naoko Ishii noted, “Transparency of reporting is the linchpin to the credibility of, and mutual confidence in, the Agreement.” [GEF Press Release] [IISD RS Story on 50th meeting of the GEF Council]
Workshop and Tools Advance Transparency Capacity Building
The International Partnership on Mitigation and MRV, in collaboration with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), hosted a training on 6 June on the evaluation and MRV of energy savings and efficiency programmes. The workshop brought together 25 participants in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, ahead of the 2016 International Energy Policy and Programme Evaluation Conference (IEPPEC), held under the theme ‘Make the Paris Agreement a Reality with Effective Evaluation for Energy Efficiency.’ During the workshop, participants examined baselines, approaches to data gaps and data collection challenges, energy efficiency indicators, and country-specific evaluation of emission reductions from energy efficiency measures. [International Partnership on Mitigation and MRV Press Release] [2016 IEPPEC Webpage]
The Universal Postal Union (UPU) has released a tool to help postal services measure and reduce their carbon footprints. The Online Solution for Carbon Analysis and Reporting (OSCAR) tool includes features allowing posts to compare their emissions to industry averages, set reduction targets and identify ways to achieve them. The creation of OSCAR was co-financed by UPU, La Poste (France) and the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. [UPU Press Release]
Another tool, developed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), is a guidebook titled, ‘Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification Manual for Clean Development Mechanism Projects.’ The manual includes five modules designed to help users ensure the social and environmental integrity of CDM projects. ADB notes that the manual is applicable to projects developed for other market mechanisms as well. [ADB Publication Webpage] [MRV Manual for CDM Projects]
This issue of the Transparency and Compliance Update is the fifth 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.