Contents and timetable
Parties to the Convention must submit national reports on implementation of the Convention to the
Conference of the Parties (COP). The required contents of national communications and the timetable
for their submission are different for Annex I and non-Annex I Parties. This is in accordance with
the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" enshrined in the Convention.
The core elements of the national communications for both Annex I and non-Annex I Parties are
information on emissions and removals of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and details of the activities a
Party has undertaken to implement the Convention. National communications usually contain information
on national circumstances, vulnerability assessment, financial resources and transfer of technology,
and education, training and public awareness; but the ones from Annex I Parties additionally contain
information on policies and measures.
Annex I Parties that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol must include supplementary information in their
national communications and their annual inventories of emissions and removals of GHGs to demonstrate
compliance with the Protocol's commitments.
Annex I Parties are required to submit information on their national inventories annually, and to
submit national communications periodically, according to dates set by the COP. There are no fixed
dates for the submission of national communications of non-Annex I Parties, although these documents
should be submitted within four years of the initial disbursement of financial resources to assist
them in preparing their national communications.
Cover page selections from national communications submitted to the climate change
National communications are detailed documents and can have up to 300 pages.
The importance of reliable data
Accurate, consistent and internationally comparable data on GHG emissions is essential for the
international community to take the most appropriate action to mitigate climate change, and
ultimately to achieve the objective of the Convention. Communicating relevant information on the most
effective ways to reduce emissions and adapt to the adverse effects of climate change also
contributes towards global sustainable development.
Ensuring quality of reporting
Since 1994, governments have invested significant time and resources in the preparation, collection
and validation of data on GHG emissions, and the COP has made determined efforts to improve the
quality and consistency of the data, which are ensured by established guidelines for reporting.
Non-Annex I Parties receive financial and technical assistance in preparing their national
communications, facilitated by the UNFCCC secretariat.
Each national communication of an Annex I Party is subject to an "in-depth" review
conducted by an international team of experts and coordinated by the secretariat. National
communications from non-Annex I Parties are not subject to such a review, but they are considered by
the expert group set up by the Subsidiary Body on Implementation to deal with issues relating to
Submission of reports
Parties submit their national communications to the UNFCCC secretariat in Bonn, Germany, which makes
them publicly available. Following a request from the COP, the secretariat synthesizes the most
important information from submitted national communications in separate reports for Annex I and
non-Annex I Parties, and in turn submits these reports to the Subsidiary Bodies and the COP for
The UNFCCC secretariat also collects and makes publicly available the annual GHG inventory
submissions of Annex I Parties. It also publishes its own reports summarizing the status and trends
of GHG emissions in Annex I Parties.