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Review of the Methodological work under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol


The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change notes the importance of methodological work in several specific articles, for example Articles 4.1 (a), 4.1 (f), 4.2 (c), 7.2 (d), 9.2 (e) and 12.1 (a). More generally, the Convention contains broad requirements for Parties to exchange information; these implicitly require development of guidelines, modalities and rules. Numerous decisions have been adopted to implement these articles, beginning with decisions 4/CP.1 and 6/CP.1. Article 8.1 of the Convention also requires the secretariat to prepare reports on its activities and present them to the COP.

The Kyoto Protocol makes references to the need for methodologies (guidelines, modalities and rules) in Articles 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12 and 17.

In 1996 the UNFCCC secretariat prepared a note on methodological issues: longer-term programme of work (CCC/SBSTA/1996/16). SBSTA 4 considered the note that proposed areas of work and the SBSTA concluded that in addition to improving methods for GHG inventories, methods for various topics identified should be given a priority in the context of the Convention.

In responding to above mandates, the SBSTA and the SBI have done two things: collect and encourage the sharing of the information, and recommend guidelines on reporting of information for adoption by the COP. The collection of information has been done via submissions from Parties and international organisations, workshops and web site of the secretariat. In a few instances, the SBSTA invited other international bodies and UN organisations to develop and compile information on methods. For example, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) have responded to the requests and have prepared guidelines for reporting GHG inventories, good practice guidance on GHG inventories, methods for climate change impact assessment and adaptation strategies, methods for assessing mitigation policies and measures, and methods for assessing industrial technologies.