The COP, by decision 1/CP.16, decided that developed country Parties should enhance reporting in
national communications and submit biennial reports, 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
first biennial report (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 national communication (NC) or as a
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.
The presentation (175 kB) provides a summary of the analysis conducted by the secretariat
and presented at the 10th lead reviewers meeting held in Bonn, Germany, 18-21 March 2013.
It provides a view by the secretariat on the possible approach to report NC6 and BR1 and is not a
formal guidance or recommendation. It is up to a Party to decide if it will report NC6 and BR1 as two
separate reports or BR1 as an annex to NC6 and which option and approach it may take to deal with
areas of overlapping information.
When a Party choose 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 the BR and the 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 (BR CTF) application
The Conference of the Parties, in decision 19/CP.18, requested the UNFCCC secretariat to develop a
test version of an electronic reporting application for the common tabular format (BR CTF) for
developed country Parties, by May 2013 and to finalize the development by July 2013.
The BR CTF application has been released on 22 July 2013, for use by Parties to report their common
tabular formats of biennial reports.
The advanced version of the application which allows compilers to import data from excel to BR CTF
tables 2-9 was released on 18 October 2013. The user manual is available on the landing page of the
BR CTF application Noted issues are being fixed on a regular basis. Currently, the BR CTF has over
200 users from 43 Parties and is supported by the secretariat's help desk at : Reporting_Review@unfccc.int
As outlined in annex II of decision 2/CP.17, the IAR process will include a technical
review of biennial reports, where relevant in conjunction with the annual greenhouse gas (GHG)
inventories, and national communications of developed country Parties, which will result in an
individual review report for each developed country Party. When the biennial reports are submitted in
the same year as the national communications, the reviews are conducted in conjunction, in-country.
When biennial reports are not submitted in the same years as the national communications, 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.
The UNFCCC secretariat invited lead reviewers to share their experiences in review of the NCs and BRs
at the First and Second Meeting of Lead Reviewers for the review of Biennial Reports and National
Communications of Annex I Parties in March 2014 and March 2015, respectively.
BR and NC Lead Reviewers Meetings
In accordance with 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” included in annex to decision
23/CP.19, the secretariat shall facilitate annual meetings of the lead reviewers (LRs) for greenhouse
gas inventories, biennial reports and national communication. 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.