UN Climate Change News, 21 September 2021 – Developing countries are to receive ever more targeted technical support to assist them to better report on their climate actions. This boost in technical support is in response to active consultation and survey results, which the Consultative Group of Experts (CGE), a group that supports developing countries, has carried out and addressed at a recent meeting.
By transparently reporting, countries can provide a snapshot of their progress as they work to achieve their national climate objectives. Climate actions are currently reported under the existing measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) system. A survey carried out by the CGE revealed a number of common challenges faced by developing countries in the preparation of their climate action reports. These include:
- Lack of data collection and management systems to report on and monitor their GHG inventories, quantified results of their mitigation actions and measures, climate change impacts and adaptation, support needed and received, as well as lack of guidelines and formal systems to report and share data/information, resulting in limited quality, completeness and accuracy;
- Limited number of human resources and qualified experts on transparency within the key entities/ministries, making it difficult to establish and sustain a reporting team and system to process data and information, as well as to produce regular and timely reports;
- Unclear roles and responsibilities for key entities and relevant stakeholders and lack of institutional arrangements, resulting in problems or reluctance in coordination, data sharing, collaboration and engagement activities between various stakeholders, and in communicating the requirements and benefits related with the transparency activities.
Addressing the identified gaps is especially important given that countries will over the next years transition to the more extensive reporting requirements under the Paris Agreement. The Agreement’s Enhanced Transparency Framework – or ETF – will demonstrate how countries are progressing on reducing emissions, building resilience and mobilizing financial, technical and capacity building support and highlight where they need further support to achieve their goals.
Improving reporting under the current MRV system can serve as a solid foundation to build on under the ETF.
Consistent with its mandate, the CGE has already identified a set of strategic priorities until 2026 aimed at assisting developing country Parties. The survey results may further refine the provision of technical assistance.
Feedback from developing country Parties for the CGE’s future work indicate their expectation that the CGE continues to: develop technical documents and tools to enhance understanding on transitioning from MRV to the ETF; and conduct training on topics such as reporting provisions for greenhouse gas inventories, mitigation actions, adaptation actions and support needed and received, as well as on establishing and strengthening institutional arrangements.
Developing country Parties are also in favour of convening interactive sessions to share their experiences, good practices and lessons learned, as well as maintaining regional platforms to exchange information and strengthen cooperation among practitioners.
The CGE will organize a side-event at COP26 to present the activities it has conducted in 2021 and provide an opportunity to hear directly from its stakeholders on emerging areas that require technical assistance and support.
For additional details on the outcomes of the 6th meeting of the CGE, please see here.