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National Reports

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 secretariat.

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 these communications.

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 consideration.

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.


This section covers information and procedures for the following types of national reports submitted under the Convention:

In addition, this section covers accounting, reporting and review procedures under the Kyoto Protocol

Updated Consultative Group of Experts (CGE) training materials
The CGE developed sets of training materials to facilitate the preparation national communications by non-Annex I Parties in accordance with  the guidelines contained in the annex to decision  17/CP.8; and also to facilitate the preparation of biennial update reports by non-Annex Parties in accordance with the guidelines contained in decision 2/CP.17, annex III.  The complete set of training materials are available online.

Submission of National Communications
The deadline for the sixth national communcation was agreed upon in Cancún (decisons 9/CP.16 and 10/CMP.6): 1 January 2014.

All relevant materials -- revised reporting guidelines, COP decisions, Subsidiary Body conclusions, and workshop reports -- are available online.

Annex I GHG Inventories 2011
Status reports 2011 of Annex I Parties GHG inventory submissions are now available, with information on the timing and completeness of the submissions.
Latest National Communications
Tajikistan. The third national communication of the Republic of Tajikistan under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
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Philippines. Second national communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
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Costa Rica. Costa Rica 2014: Tercera comunicación nacional a la Convención Marco de las Naciones Unidas sobre Cambio Climático.
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Sixfth  National Communication

Read the latest Sixth National Communication  under the Convention. 

Fifth National Communication