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Guidelines under Articles 5, 7 and 8: Methodological Issues, Reporting and Review under the Kyoto Protocol


The Kyoto Protocol’s effectiveness will depend upon two critical factors: whether Parties follow the Protocol’s rulebook and comply with their commitments; and whether the emissions data used to assess compliance is reliable. Recognizing this, the Kyoto Protocol and Marrakesh Accords, adopted by CMP 1 in Montreal, Canada, in December 2005, include a set of monitoring and compliance procedures to enforce the Protocol’s rules, address any compliance problems, and avoid any error in calculating emissions data and accounting for transactions under the three Kyoto mechanisms (emissions trading, clean development mechanism and joint implementation) and activities related to land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF).

The Protocol’s monitoring procedures are based on existing reporting and review procedures under the Convention, building on experience gained in the climate change process over the past decade. They also involve additional accounting procedures that are needed to track and record Parties’ holdings and transactions of Kyoto Protocol units - assigned amount units (AAUs), certified emission reductions (CERs) and emission reduction units (ERUs) - and removal units (RMUs) generated by LULUCF activities.

Articles 5, 7 and 8 of the Kyoto Protocol address reporting and review of information by Annex I Parties under the Protocol, as well as national systems and methodologies for the preparation of greenhouse gas inventories.

  • Article 5 commits Annex I Parties to having in place, no later than 2007, national systems for the estimation of greenhouse gas emissions by sources and removals by sinks (Article 5.1). It also states that, where agreed methodologies (that is, the revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, see  decision (PDF) 2/CP.3) are not used to estimate emissions and removals, appropriate "adjustments" should be applied (Article 5.2).
  • Article 7 requires Annex I Parties to submit annual greenhouse gas inventories, as well as national communications, at regular intervals, both including supplementary information to demonstrate compliance with the Protocol. In addition, Article 7 states that the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol (CMP) shall decide upon modalities for the accounting of assigned amounts prior to the first commitment period.
  • Article 8 establishes that expert review teams will review the inventories, and national communications submitted by Annex I Parties.

The Protocol states that guidelines for national systems, adjustments, the preparation of inventories and national communications, as well as for the conduct of expert reviews, should be adopted by the CMP at its first session (CMP 1), and regularly reviewed thereafter.

COP 7 and Marrakesh Accords

At COP 7, Parties reached agreement on the details of Articles 5, 7 and 8. The accounting and reporting and review systems set out in the Marrakesh Accords aim to be transparent so that all data, except those designated as confidential, are to be made publicly available. At the conclusion of COP 7 some sections of the guidelines under Articles 7 and 8 were not completed, mainly because of the need to ensure coherence with other decisions.

In addition, the COP requested the SBSTA to develop technical standards for the purpose of ensuring the accurate, transparent and efficient exchange of data between national registries, the clean development mechanism registry and the transaction log.

COP 8, COP 9, COP 10 and COP 11

During these COPs Parties finalized the remaining work of the guidelines under Articles 5, 7 and 8 of the Kyoto Protocol.


CMP 1 held in Montreal, Canada, in November-December 2005 adopted the Marrakesh Accords as well as the draft CMP decisions that were negotiated after COP 7.

The CMP 1 adopted the following decisions relating to Articles 5, 7 and 8 of the Kyoto Protocol:

  • 13/CMP.1 Modalities for the accounting of assigned amounts under Article 7, paragraph 4 of the Kyoto Protocol
  • 14/CMP.1 Standard electronic format for reporting Kyoto Protocol units
  • 15/CMP.1 Guidelines for the preparation of the information required under Article 7 of the Kyoto Protocol
  • 19/CMP.1 Guidelines for national systems under Article 5, paragraph 1 of the Kyoto Protocol
  • 20/CMP.1 Good practice guidance and adjustments under Article 5, paragraph 2 of the Kyoto Protocol
  • 21/CMP.1 Issues relating to adjustments under Article 5, paragraph 2 of the Kyoto Protocol
  • 22/CMP.1 Guidelines for review under Article 8 of the Kyoto Protocol
  • 23/CMP.1 Terms of service for lead reviewers
  • 24/CMP.1 Issues relating to the implementation of Article 8 of the Kyoto Protocol – 1 (Training programme for members of expert review teams)
  • 25/CMP.1 Issues relating to the implementation of Article 8 of the Kyoto Protocol – 2 (Confidential information)