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The International Assessment and Review Process
 

The Conference of Parties (COP), by Decision 1/CP.16, decided that developed country Parties should enhance reporting in national communications (NC) and submit biennial reports (BR) which outline progress in achieving emission reductions and the provision of financial, technology and capacity-building support to non-Annex I Parties, building on existing reporting and review guidelines, processes and experiences. 

It also established a new process, international assessment and review (IAR), under the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) for developed country Parties that aims to promote the comparability of efforts among all developed country Parties with regard to their quantified economy-wide emission limitation and reduction targets.

By decision 2/CP.17, Parties adopted the detailed guidelines for the preparation of BRs (annex I to decision 2/CP.17) and the modalities and procedures for IAR (annex II to decision 2/CP.17).  The first rounds of IAR should commence two months after the submission of the first BRs by developed country Parties. First biennial reports are due 1 January 2014.

According to the adopted modalities and procedures, the IAR of BRs from developed country Parties will be conducted under the SBI in two steps:

  1. A technical review of BRs, where relevant in conjunction with the review of annual greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories, and NCs of developed country Parties, which will result in an individual review report for each developed country Party. The information considered will include all emissions and removals related to quantified economy-wide emission reduction targets; assumptions, conditions and methodologies related to the attainment of quantified economy-wide emission reduction target; progress towards the achievement of quantified economy-wide emission reduction target; and the provision of financial, technological and capacity building support to developing country Parties.
  2. A multilateral assessment of developed country Parties’ progress in implementation towards the achievement of emission reductions and removals related to their quantified economy-wide emission reduction targets.  The multilateral assessment will be conducted on the basis of BRs, the national GHG inventory (including the national inventory report) and the NC, the technical review report of BR, as well as supplementary information on the achievement of the Party’s quantified economy-wide emission reduction target. The multilateral assessment will be conducted under a working group session of the SBI for each developed country Party, with participation of all Parties. The Party under review may make a brief oral presentation, followed by oral questions by Parties and responses by the Party under review.

Revision of review guidelines

To improve the rigor, robustness and transparency of the IAR process, the COP in its decision 2/CP.17 decided on a work programme, building on existing reporting and review guidelines, processes and experiences, covering the revision of guidelines for the review of NCs, including the BRs, annual GHG inventories and national inventory systems (hereinafter referred to as the review guidelines).

Adoption of the review guidelines at SBSTA 39

The “Guidelines for the technical review of information reported under the Convention related to greenhouse gas inventories, biennial reports and national communications by Parties included in Annex I to the Convention” were adopted by Parties at COP 19 in Warsaw (decision 23/pdf-icon CP.19 (132 kB) ). These review guidelines provide a solid foundation for the upcoming technical reviews of NC6 and BR1 in early 2014 under the new IAR process.