The Paris Agreement establishes an Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF) designed to build trust and confidence that all countries are contributing their share to the global effort.
The Katowice conference (COP24, Dec. 2018) fleshed out a framework that is applicable to all countries by adopting a detailed set of modalities, procedures and guidelines (MPGs) that make it operational.
The MPGs are based on a set of guiding principles and define the reporting information to be provided, the technical expert review, transitional arrangements, and a facilitative multilateral consideration of progress.
The ETF provides built-in flexibility to those developing countries that need it owing to their national circumstances; different starting points in institutional capacities; or readiness to fulfil reporting requirements. Capacity-building and support from developed country Parties will be crucial to facilitating improvement in reporting over time. The Katowice decision requested the Global Environment Facility to support developing country Parties in preparing their first and subsequent biennial transparency reports. Further, developing country Parties will be given assistance to fulfil their reporting requirements under the Convention from the Consultative Group of Experts which will also support the implementation of the ETF.
Through the detailed guidance on the reporting/review/consideration processes for the information to be submitted and by making these reports publicly available, the ETF will make it possible to track the progress made by each country. In this way, it will be possible to compare a country’s actions against its plans and ambitions as described in its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
To ensure that this exercise is as robust and accurate as possible, the Parties will develop common reporting tables for national GHG inventories, common tabular format (CTF) tables for tracking progress towards NDCs and climate finance, outlines of the biennial transparency report (BTR), technical expert review report, national inventory document and training programme for the technical review experts by the end of 2020.
Transition to the ETF
The ETF under the Paris Agreement builds on the current, solid measurement, reporting and verification system under the Convention, which for developed countries is the greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories and the International Assessment and Review and for developing countries is the International Consultation and Analysis.
The final biennial reports for developed countries are due on 1 January 2022 and they will be multilaterally assessed to complete the final IAR cycle during 2023-2024. The final biennial update reports for developing countries can be submitted no later than 31 December 2024 and will undergo the last ICA cycle between 2024-2026.
Parties under the Paris Agreement are required to submit their first biennial transparency report (BTR1) and national inventory report, if submitted as a stand-alone report, in accordance with the MPGs, at the latest by 31 December 2024.
ETF and the Global Stocktake
The enhanced transparency framework represents an important component of the ambition cycle in the global climate regime established by the Paris Agreement by building trust and confidence that countries are taking action to meet their national climate targets and actions defined in their NDCs under the Paris Agreement.
Furthermore, in addition to scientific research and findings by the IPCC, the national climate and greenhouse emission reports of counties will create an important input into the global stocktake, leading to stronger climate action that will continue as the climate regimes moves towards the goal of zero net emissions by 2050 and climate neutrality thereafter.