Requirements for developing countries prior to the Paris Agreement
Reporting on GHG emissions
The UNFCCC obliges all Parties to report information on their GHG emissions to the Conference of the Parties (COP), and on the steps taken to implement the Convention, including in relation to emissions and removals. This is done through National Communication. COP 8 (2002) adopted revised guidelines for the preparation of National Communications (see Box 1). COP 16 (2010) agreed that developing countries should submit National Communications every 4 years, and that a Biennial Update Report (BUR) should be submitted every two years. By contrast, Annex I developed countries are required to submit National Communications every 4 years, Biennial Report every 2 years and a National GHG Inventory annually (Table 1).
The UNFCCC obliges all Parties to report information on their GHG emissions to the Conference of the Parties (COP) and on steps taken to implement the Convention. This is done through National Communications (NCs). COP 8 (2002) adopted revised guidelines for the preparation of NCs. COP 16 (2010) agreed that developing countries should submit NCs every 4 years and that a Biennial Update Report (BUR) should be submitted every two years. By contrast, Annex I countries are required to submit NCs every 4 years, Biennial Report every 2 years and a National GHG Inventory annually (Table 1).Table 1. Overview of reporting requirements for Annex 1 and non-Annex 1 Parties
|Annex 1 Parties||Non-Annex 1 Parties|
|National Communication every 4 years||National Communication every 4 years, with flexibility|
|Biennial Report every 2 years||Biennial Update Report, every 2 years, with flexibility|
|National GHG Inventory annually|
|Box 1. The main contents of National Communications|
|Guidelines highlight that National Communications shall include:
“(f) A national inventory of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removal by sinks of all greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol, to the extent its capacities permit, using comparable methodologies to be promoted and agreed upon by the Conference of the Parties;
(g) A general description of steps taken or envisaged by the non-Annex I Party to implement the Convention;
(h) Any other information that the non-Annex I Party considers relevant to the achievement of the objective of the Convention and suitable for inclusion in its communication, including, if feasible, material relevant for calculations of global emission trends.”
Source: Annex to Decision 17/CP.8.
Reporting on mitigation actions
Reflecting in part the evolution of the UNFCCC negotiations, there are some differences in reporting requirements for mitigation actions between the requirements and guidelines for National Communications and for BURs. The National Communication guidelines provide general guidance on reporting relating to mitigation actions:
“Based on national circumstances, non-Annex I Parties are encouraged to provide, to the extent their capacities allow, information on programs and measures implemented or planned which contribute to mitigating climate change…including, as appropriate, relevant information by key sectors on methodologies, scenarios, results, measures and institutional arrangements.”
The BUR guidelines are more explicit on the information that must be reported for mitigation actions (see box below)
|Biennial Update Reports (BURs)|
|Reporting on mitigation actions in BURs
“Developing country Parties shall provide the following information to the extent possible:
(a) Name and description of the mitigation action, including information on the nature of the action, coverage (i.e. sectors and gases), quantitative goals and progress indicators;
(b) Information on methodologies and assumptions;
(c) Objectives of the action and steps taken or envisaged to achieve that action;
(d) Information on the progress of implementation of the mitigation actions and the underlying steps taken or envisaged, and the results achieved, such as estimated outcomes (metrics depending on type of action) and estimated emission reductions, to the extent possible;
(e) Information on international market mechanisms.
13. Parties should provide information on the description of domestic measurement, reporting and verification arrangements.”
|The main contents of BURs
Biennial update reports provide an update to the most recently submitted national communication in the following areas:
(a) Information on national circumstances and institutional arrangements relevant to the preparation of the national communications on a continuous basis;
(b) The national inventory of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removal by sinks of all greenhouse gases (GHGs) not controlled by the Montreal Protocol, including a national inventory report;
(c) Information on mitigation actions and their effects, including associated methodologies and assumptions;
(d) Constraints and gaps, and related financial, technical and capacity needs, including a description of support needed and received;
(e) Information on the level of support received to enable the preparation and submission of biennial update reports;
(f) Information on domestic measurement reporting and verification;
(g) Any other information that the non-Annex I Party considers relevant to the achievement of the objective of the Convention and suitable for inclusion in its biennial update report.
Source: Annex III of Decision 2/CP.17.