Reporting adaptation through the biennial transparency report: A practical explanation of the guidance

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Abstract

Acknowledging that climate action is urgently needed, the Paris Agreement – adopted in 2015 – establishes a series of long-term goals across climate change mitigation, adaptation, and the provision of support. Unlike under its predecessor,
the Kyoto Protocol, the contributions of countries party to the agreement towards achieving the Paris Agreement’s goals are self-determined, i.e. countries decide on how and to what extent they reduce their national GHG emissions, implement adaptation, and provide support to developing countries. Under the Paris Agreement, countries submit their new pledges to the UNFCCC via their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which they are able to renew every five years.

The initial contributions pledged by countries in the first round of NDCs are not of sufficient magnitude to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement (UNEP, 2019). However, as the approach adopted in the Paris Agreement is centred around countries raising their levels of ambition over time, countries that have signed the agreement are expected to enhance the size and scope of their contributions in each five-year cycle. For this approach to work in practice, it is recognised that mutual trust will need to be built between countries as a means of enhancing the ambition of collective action. In order to establish this mutual trust, and to allow collective progress towards these goals to be monitored, the importance of ensuring transparency in actions and reporting is emphasized across the Paris Agreement.

For this purpose, the Paris Agreement under Article 13 establishes the Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF) for action and support. The ETF establishes a new set of rules and procedures related to transparency that are intended improve
the quality of country reporting to the UNFCCC. When it comes into force in 2024, the structure established by the ETF will form the basis of the Paris Agreement’s transparency arrangements that, for countries that have signed the greement,
will replace the Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) system that provides the basis for transparency under the convention.

The design and structure of the ETF is built upon the experiences of the MRV system that it supersedes. However, an important difference between the two systems is that the ETF will be applicable to all parties (i.e. the ETF’s rules and requirements will be equally applicable across annex I and non-annex I Parties). Continuing to acknowledge the differences in the capacity that countries have to adhere to rules and requirements, the ETF allows developing countries that need it in light of their capacities, to exercise a certain amount of flexibility regarding the extent to which they report against the ETF’s mandatory reporting requirements.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUNEP DTU Partnership
Number of pages60
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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