MRV in Warsaw

Photo: IISD

Vositha Wijenayake

Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA)

Article 12 of the UNFCCC recognises measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) as a key element or rather a pillar for ensuring transparency, building trust among parties. Furthermore it adds to ensuring accountability among the Parties. The Convention calls upon Parties for regular reporting on efforts taken by countries to address climate change.

The requirements pertaining to countries are developed based on the common but differentiated principle (CBDR). This in turn explains that the Annex1 countries i.e. developed countries are endowed with a higher level of obligation on their reporting than the developing countries. In more specific terms this involves the developed countries having to undergo a review process by experts to ensure completeness, consistency and accuracy of reported information. The review also encompassed a review by Parties, of efforts made by developed countries to meet their obligations under the Convention.

The Bali road map extended the gambit of the MRV by strengthening the reporting requirements of both the developed and developing countries as well as instituting a formal process of review, international analysis and review (IAR) for developed countries and international consultation and analysis (ICA) for developing countries.

This in turn required the developed countries to report annual GHG inventory every year; prepare a biennial report – highlighting the progress made in meeting its obligations under the Convention, both, on mitigation pledges and support; and national communication every four years; and, for the developing countries to prepare a biennial update report, including GHG inventory, on planning and implementing NAMAs, and to prepare a national communication every four years.  All efforts of developing countries for reporting are supported by the Convention.

Guidelines for measurement is the key of an MRV system. This is the first step in ensuring consistency, relevance and completeness of information. One such measure can be seen in the form of all countries being required to prepare their GHG inventories in accordance with the IPCC GHG inventory methodology. The common accounting methodology also makes it possible to compare the information across sectors, both within and across countries.

An outstanding issue at present is the common tabular format (CTF) to compare the pledges, progress made in pledges, as well as reporting on the support provided. The challenge faced concerns defining climate finance, how to report different forms of public support (grants, loans, etc), and defining new and additional support. The last element relates to separating, in broad terms, the finance provided for development issues in developing countries through bilateral aid from finance provided for climate related activities.

Here in Warsaw there are a few things that we need to achieve, among which lies the creation of a process that allows all countries to understand what is pledged by others, and to be able to develop new offers for the post-2020 period.  Warsaw needs also to be able to highlight what needs to be included in Party offers, equity and scientific benchmarks, in addition to how these offers need to be reviewed.  

Furthermore there is also need for the procedures and the outcomes for both the preparation and assessment processes to be equitable. Thus this process needs the inclusion of credible elements that possess the capacity to assess whether countries are doing their “fair “share, in line with science and a set of equity indicators.

 

References made to discussions of CAN MRV working group, and to “MRV in Warsaw” by Mr. Sudhir Sharma for ClimAsia, Warsaw  edition. 

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