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MRV for developed country Parties set to advance at COP 19

Mitigation 1 image NL November 2013The remaining modalities for the measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) of developed country commitments and actions under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol will be taken forward at COP 19/CMP 9 in Warsaw, with decisions expected to be agreed to enhance accuracy, consistency and transparency.

Under the Convention, the UNFCCC Reporting Guidelines for Annex I GHG Inventories will be finalized in Warsaw. These revised Guidelines will incorporate the latest science for estimating GHG emissions, as embodied in the 2006 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Guidelines for GHG inventories. Under the Kyoto Protocol, reporting issues integral to the functioning of the second commitment period, such as reporting on tradable units or various accounting and reporting modalities will be decided.

Together, finalization of these rules will improve the quality of data on GHG emissions from Annex I Parties, as well as clarify the obligations of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol in the second commitment period.

Preparing for the 2014 launch of the IAR process 

With the international assessment and review (IAR) process for developed country Parties set for launch in early 2014, the reviews of national communications and biennial reports are of critical importance to ensure that the process is effective.

To support negotiations under the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) on the revision of review guidelines for biennial reports, national communications and GHG inventories, a technical workshop was organized by the UNFCCC secretariat from 7 – 9 October 2013. The focus of this workshop was on the overall approach to the review process, including a discussion on streamlining the review process, as well as on the development of the review guidelines for biennial reports and national communications. A workshop summary report and a revised draft of the review guidelines will serve as input to discussions at the thirty-ninth session of SBSTA, with the aim of adopting these guidelines by COP 19/CMP 9 in Warsaw.

Reporting under the Convention by developing country Parties: looking ahead to Warsaw

Mitigation image 2 newsletter November 2013COP 19/CMP 9 in Warsaw will consider two important items relating to reporting by developing country Parties: the term and mandate of the Consultative Group of Experts (CGE) beyond 2013, and the composition, modalities and procedures of the team of technical experts for conducting technical analysis under the international consultation and analysis (ICA) process.

On the term and mandate of the CGE beyond 2013: Parties could not complete the consideration of the term and mandate of the CGE at COP 18 in Doha. Instead, the group was extended for another year and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation was asked to continue the consideration. Meanwhile, there is acknowledgement of the substantial contribution the CGE has made in enhancing the capacity of non-Annex I Parties to prepare their national communications. Parties also recognize that the CGE can play an important role in facilitating technical advice and support for the preparation and submission of the first biennial update report by non-Annex I Parties.

On the subject of composition, modalities and procedures of the team of technical experts for conducting technical analysis: while the modalities and guidelines for international consultation and analysis were adopted at COP 17 in Durban, there are still some key operational details that have to be agreed upon. These include the composition, modalities and procedures of the team of technical experts for conducting technical analysis under the international consultation and analysis (ICA) process.

Agreement on these issues at COP 19/CMP 9 is important because the ICA process for non-Annex I Parties will be conducted within six months of submission of the first biennial update reports (BURs), which are expected to be submitted by December 2014.

Latest on the web-based NAMA registry and NAMA regional workshops


Mitigation image 2 newsletter November 2013The secretariat deployed the web-based NAMA registry in October 2013, following a six-month prototype period. The registry was established to record nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) as well as information on financial, technology and capacity building support for their actions; and to facilitate matching of NAMAs with support. The new release of the registry is open to the public, which will be able to browse all information contained in the platform.  As of 1 September 2013, the registry contained 4 entries on support and 40 NAMA entries. The first report on registry operation will be presented to COP 19/CMP 9 in Warsaw.

With financial support from several Annex I Parties, the secretariat has been organizing regional workshops to build capacity for preparing and implementing NAMAs. These workshops provide a space for representatives from all regions to share experiences and information, including the process of identifying NAMAs; financial aspects; measuring reporting and verification; and the functioning and operation of the registry.

Further, the workshops include interaction with representatives from donor agencies, bilateral and multilateral organizations on issues relating to interpreting NAMAs and exchanging ideas on ways to facilitate their implementation. The workshop for the African region took place in Maseru, Lesotho from 16-19 April 2013. For Asia and the Pacific, the workshop took place in Singapore, from 13-15 August 2013. The last workshop in 2013 will be organized for Latin America and the Caribbean and will be held in Mexico from 10-13 December.

Shaping results-based financing for REDD-plus


Mitigation image 4 newsletter November 2013At its eighteenth session in Doha, the COP decided to undertake a work programme on results-based finance in 2013, including two workshops, to contribute to ongoing efforts to scale up and improve the effectiveness of finance for REDD-plus activities.

The second workshop on results-based finance for REDD-plus under the related COP work programme took place from 21-22 August in Bonn. The workshop was attended by 90 participants representing developing country Parties, developed country Parties, IGOs and NGOs. UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres welcomed the participants to the workshop by noting the importance of both reducing deforestation in the fight against climate change and of scaled up financing for mitigation actions in the forest sector.

Through discussions facilitated by the co-chairs - Ms Christina Voigt of Norway and Mr Agus Sari of Indonesia - Parties identified elements of common ground in the architecture of results-based financing for the full implementation of actions relating to REDD-plus.

Parties, particularly developing country Parties, noted the need for clarity on the adequacy and predictability of scaled-up finance for implementing all phases of REDD-plus. They also stressed the need for ambition in decisions on results-based finance for REDD-plus and to make significant progress on this matter at COP 19/CMP 9 in Warsaw, where the discussions will continue.

Read workshops report

Incentivizing action on climate change


Progress is being made on three work programmes aimed at incentivizing action on climate change that were established under the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) last year at the eighteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 18) in Doha, namely on:

     - The framework for various approaches (FVA)
     - The new market-based mechanism (NMM)
     - Non-market-based approaches (NMA)

At SBSTA 38 held in Bonn in June this year, the FVA began taking shape as an umbrella mechanism that could oversee and govern the generation of internationally tradable mitigation units and outcomes from different mechanisms and approaches that could be used for compliance under the UNFCCC. Although the framework is still to be defined, Parties are gradually providing guidance on what they expect the FVA to do and how it should do it. There is also increasing support to consider both NMAs and the NMM as components of the FVA.

The NMM is developing as a top-down model to generate tradable reductions that can be used for compliance under the UNFCCC with flexibility for bottom-up implementation. Unlike the FVA, the NMM was defined at COP 17 in Durban and therefore exists as a mechanism under the Convention, but is not yet operational, since modalities and procedures still need to be developed. Its main differences to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) are that the NMM is available to non-Kyoto Protocol Parties; aspires to have a wider coverage than  project- and programme-based activities; may allow not only for crediting, but also for trading; and it aims to go beyond offsetting to achieve net mitigation.

It was recognized at SBSTA 38 that NMAs are already widely employed to mitigate climate change. Such approaches include, for example, carbon taxes, energy efficiency standards, and fossil fuel and agricultural subsidy reforms. Furthermore, a number of non-market-based approaches are already operational or elaborated under the UNFCCC, such as the Technology Mechanism, nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) and non-market-based approaches for REDD-plus. The main challenge posed by this work programme lies in identifying the added value that can be provided by considering NMAs as a separate agenda item under the UNFCCC umbrella.

At SBSTA 38, Parties requested a technical synthesis for the FVA and the NMM, as well as a workshop to be organized on each of the three issues. The pdf-icon workshops took place in Bonn from 7 to 9 October. A full day was devoted to each issue, and a report from each workshop will be made available before COP 19/CMP 9 in Warsaw. To kick off the discussions in Warsaw, a side event will be held on 11 November to share the outcomes of the workshops with Parties and observers who were unable to attend the workshops in Bonn.

A two-day workshop also took place at the June sessions to work on the review of the modalities and procedures of the CDM. Interesting ideas to improve the CDM were identified and captured in the pdf-icon workshop report. In addition, the CDM Executive Board (EB) has prepared 22 recommendations to Parties to the Kyoto Protocol to feed into the review, and substantive discussions on this issue will be taken up in Warsaw.

The CDM Board, at its 75th meeting, and the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee, at its 33rd meeting, prepared their respective reports presenting their work since Doha and their recommendations to the ninth session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. The CDM EB will hold its 76th meeting from 4–8 November in Warsaw.

In the second week of the COP, a high-level roundtable on market approaches for enhanced climate action is planned.