10 August 2017
Transparency and Compliance Update: Annex I Parties’ Review Reports, APA Transparency Workshop Report Released
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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Status reports and individual review reports for five different Parties have been released by the UNFCCC Secretariat.

The reports to facilitate the calculation assigned amounts for the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol for France, Ireland and Malta have undergone review by expert review teams.

The Co-Chairs of the UNFCCC Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement have released an informal note giving an overview of the discussions that took place at the May 2017 pre-sessional workshop on APA agenda item 4 on adaptation communications, including linkages to the transparency framework.

26 July 2017: The UNFCCC contains mechanisms to foster trust through ensuring transparency, based on systems of measurement, reporting and verification (MRV). This update provides an overview of 11 recent reports released by the UNFCCC relating to reporting guidelines under the Kyoto Protocol. It also summarizes the UNFCCC’s informal note on a pre-sessional workshop on adaptation communications.

All Parties are required to submit National Communications (NCs), but under the Kyoto Protocol, the requirements for Annex I and non-Annex I Parties differ. Non-Annex I Parties are expected to submit Biennial Update Reports (BURs), whereas Annex I Parties are required to submit Biennial Reports (BRs) and annual greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory submissions.

Status Reports of Annual GHG Inventories of Australia and Belarus Published

All UNFCCC Annex I Parties are required to submit an annual GHG inventory covering their emissions and removals of GHG emissions. Annex I Parties that are also Parties to the Kyoto Protocol are required to provide supplementary information. In accordance with decision 13/CP.20, the UNFCCC Secretariat is required to prepare a status report within three weeks of receiving a Party’s GHG inventory. The status report forms 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 2017 inventories of Australia and Belarus have undergone these initial assessments and the Secretariat released status reports for each Party (FCCC/ASR/2017/AUS and FCCC/ASR/2017/BLR). The final status report, along with the Party’s comments on both this report and the original draft, will be forwarded to the expert review team (ERT) to produce a final individual inventory review report. [Status reports of Australia and Belarus]

Six Review Reports of Annex I Parties Released

Following the completion of a status report, the ERT then prepares individual reviews of the submissions, which assess whether information provided in the inventories is complete and consistent with guidelines. The individual review also provides additional information gathered through subsequent discussions with the submitting Party. The reviews also contribute to improving the quality of inventories over time, and contain a section stating previous recommendations to improve the inventories and how each has been followed up on, as well as a section on additional findings.

For example, in the report on the individual review of the annual submission of Malta in 2016 (FCCC/ARR/2016/MLT), the ERT recommends that, inter alia, Malta elaborates an inventory quality assessment/quality control plan. In the report on the individual review of the annual submission of France in 2016 (FCCC/ARR/2016/FRA), the ERT recommends, inter alia, that France includes a “key category analysis” for the base year in its national inventory report. [Review Reports of France 2016 and Malta 2016]

In addition to these reports, the UNFCCC has in the past month released four other reports on the individual reviews of the annual submissions of: France, submitted in 2015 (FCCC/ARR/2015/FRA); Ireland, submitted in 2015 (FCCC/ARR/2015/IRL) and 2016 (FCCC/ARR/2016/IRL); and Malta, submitted in 2015 (FCCC/ARR/2015/MLT). [Review Report of France 2015, Ireland 2015, Ireland 2016 and Malta 2015]

ERTs Assess CP2 Assigned Amounts Calculation

In accordance with decision 2/CMP.8, Parties with a quantified emission limitation and reduction commitment inscribed in the third column of Annex B to the Kyoto Protocol are required to submit a report to facilitate the calculation of their assigned amount for the Kyoto Protocol’s second commitment period (CP2). The assigned amount will then be the allowed amount of emissions for that Party for the CP2. Following the submission of these reports from Parties, each report then undergoes a review by an ERT, in line with the Guidelines for Review under Article 8 of the Kyoto Protocol. In the past month, such reports on the review of the report to facilitate the calculation of the assigned amount for the CP2 have been published for France (FCCC/IRR/2016/FRA), Ireland (FCCC/IRR/2016/IRL) and Malta (FCCC/IRR/2016/MLT). [Review Reports for France, Ireland and Malta]

APA Adaptation Communication Workshop Considers Transparency Linkages

The Co-Chairs of the UNFCCC Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA) have released an informal note (APA.2017.2.InformalNote) giving an overview of the discussions that took place at the pre-sessional workshop on APA agenda item 4 (further guidance in relation to the adaptation communication, including as a component of nationally determined contributions (NDCs)), held in Bonn, Germany, on 6 May 2017. The note contains a summary of substantive plenary discussions, including general and specific points on the purpose of adaptation communications, their elements, linkages with the global stocktake (GST) and the transparency framework, communication vehicles and flexibility.

On linkages with the transparency framework, workshop participants suggested that: clarifying the implications of the adaptation communication for the transparency framework is important; transparency provisions should not determine the type of information that Parties include in their adaptation communications; and creating a division between “backward-looking” reporting on impacts and adaptation under Article 13, paragraph 8, of the Paris Agreement and the “forward-looking” adaptation communication would be artificial. The note also includes a summary of work in small groups on purpose and elements. [Pre-sessional Workshop on APA Agenda Item 4 Report]

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