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Biennial reports (Annex I)


The COP, by decision 1/CP.16, decided that developed country Parties should enhance reporting in national communications (NCs) and submit biennial reports (BRs), 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. Decision 1/CP.16 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 <<MORE>>. The detailed guidelines for the preparation of BRs contained in annex I to decision 2/CP.17 were adopted by COP 17 in Durban.

Reporting of biennial reports

Following provisions of decision 2/CP.17 developed country Parties were requested to submit their BR1 to the secretariat by 1 January 2014 and the second and subsequent BR two years after the due date of a full NC (i.e. 2016, 2020). They have two options to report information in the BR1: Parties could present the BR1 as an annex to the NC or as a separate report.

 In response to request for guidance on reporting of NC and BR by a number of Parties the secretariat has analysed the information which is required to be presented in the BR and NC,  identified the areas of overlaps and suggested an approach as to how these overlaps could be avoided. When a Party chooses to present its BR as an annex to the NC, it may choose to avoid duplication of information on similar topics by following two approaches: (1) detailed reporting of the information on the similar topics in the NC, and cross-referencing to summary of this information in the BR or (2) provision of summary information on such similar topics in the NC and cross-referencing to detailed information being provided in the BR. Notwithstanding the differences in these two approaches, the BR when presented as an annex to the NC, should be possible to be read as a stand-alone document and should meet all requirements of the UNFCCC biennial reporting guidelines for developed country Parties (Annex, decision 2/CP.17).

When a Party chooses to report its BR and NC as separate reports, the reader-friendliness could be enhanced by indicating which parts are similar in both reports. In any case, provision of complete, transparent, accurate, comparable and consistent information in the BR and the common tabular format is an essential reporting requirement.

Biennial reporting common tabular format

The Conference of the Parties, in decision 19/CP.18, requested the UNFCCC secretariat to develop an electronic reporting application for the common tabular format (BR CTF) for developed country Parties. The BR CTF application has been released in  2013, for use by Parties to report their first BR CTF of BRs. The secretariat is continuously improves the BR CTF application taking into account provisions of the relevant decisions and relevant suggestions by the Parties.

Compilation and synthesis reports

Following the request by the COP (decision 2/CP.17, para 21), the secretariat prepares compilation and synthesis (C&S) reports of the information provided in the BRs by developed Parties. The report  highlights findings on quantified economy-wide emission reduction targets; progress made towards their achievement, including information on mitigation actions and their effects, the estimates of emission reductions and removals and the use of units from market-based mechanisms and LULUCF  activities;  greenhouse gas (GHG) emission trends and projections; and the provision of financial, technological and capacity-building support to developing country Parties.

The latest C&S report of BR2s will be presented for consideration at SBI 45, Marrakesh, November 2016. 

Technical reviews

As outlined in annex II of decision 2/CP.17, the IAR process includes a technical review of BRs, where relevant in conjunction with the annual GHG inventories, and NCs of developed country Parties, which will result in an individual review report for each developed country Party. When the BRs are submitted in the same year as the NCs, the reviews are conducted in conjunction, in-country. When BRs  are not submitted in the same year as the NCs, the reviews are conducted through centralized reviews. The technical reviews are conducted by an international team of experts from Annex I and non-Annex I Parties, selected from the Roster of Experts.

BR and NC lead reviewers meetings

In accordance with the “Guidelines for the technical review of information reported under the Convention related to GHG inventories, BRs and NCs by Parties included in Annex I to the Convention” included in annex to decision 23/CP.19, the secretariat shall facilitate annual meetings of the lead reviewers (LRs) for GHG inventories, BRs and NCs. The outcomes of the lead reviewers meetings should facilitate the work of the LRs in fulfilling their task to ensure consistency in the reviews across the Parties. LRs shall collectively prepare an annual report to the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice containing suggestions on how to improve the quality, efficiency and consistency of the reviews.


Lead Reviewer Meeting


6–7 March 2014, Bonn, Germany 1st Meeting of Lead Reviewers for the review of Biennial Reports and National Communications pdf-icon Conclusions (138 kB)
5-6 March 2015, Bonn, Germany 2nd  Meeting of Lead Reviewers for the review of Biennial Reports and National Communications pdf-icon Conclusions (154 kB)
3-4 March 2016, Bonn, Germany 3rd Meeting of Lead Reviewers for the review of Biennial Reports and National Communications pdf-icon Conclusions (164 kB)


Third Lead Reviewers Meeting
The Third Meeting of Lead Reviewers for the review of Biennial Reports and National Communications took place in Bonn, Germany, 3–4 March 2016