Biennial Update Reports

What are BURs?

BURs are reports to be submitted by non-Annex I Parties, containing updates of national Greenhouse Gas (GHG) inventories, including a national inventory report and information on mitigation actions, needs and support received. Such reports provide updates on actions undertaken by a Party to implement the Convention, including the status of its GHG emissions and removals by sinks, as well as on the actions to reduce emissions or enhance sinks.


When and how often should BURs be prepared?

In 2012, COP 17 decided that the first BURs from non-Annex I Parties, consistent with their capabilities and the level of support provided for reporting, are to be submitted by December 2014. The subsequent BURs should be submitted every two years, either as a summary of parts of the national communication in the year when the national communication is submitted or as a stand-alone update report. However, flexibility is given to Least developed country Parties (LDCs) and Small island developing States (SIDS), which may submit such reports at their discretion.

What information should be included?

The scope of the BURs is to provide an update of the most recently submitted national communication and to provide additional information in relation to mitigation actions taken or envisaged to undertake and their effects as well as support needed and received, covering the areas shown in the figure above. COP 17 adopted the “UNFCCC biennial update reporting guidelines for Parties not included in Annex I to the Convention”, which are contained in annex III to decision 2/CP.17

The BURs should be submitted either as a summary of parts of the national communication in the year in which the national communication is submitted or as a stand-alone update report. This essentially means that, if a non-Annex I Party is due to submit a BUR in the same year as its national communication is due, the Party may summarize the relevant information from the national communication addressing the key BUR elements (as per figure above). In the case where the year of the BUR submission does not coincide with that of the national communication, a separate update report would need to be prepared.

Submitted BURs

As of January 2016, 24 Parties have submitted their BURs, and they are available here.

Technical support for the BURs

The Consultative Group of Experts from Parties not included in Annex I to the Convention (CGE) was continued at COP 19, with the objective of improving the process of and preparation of national communications and biennial update reports. 

The CGE, with the support of the secretariat, assists developing country Parties in preparing their BURs by developing and making available training materials for the preparation of BURs and also conducting regional  training workshops aimed at enhancing the capacity of national experts to prepare high quality BURs consistent with the reporting requirements contained in decision 2/CP.17, annex III.

New! Technical & Financial Support under the Climate Change Convention leaflet

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