Transparency is critical for building international trust, facilitating progress, and ensuring commitments for climate action. This is why one key outcome of the Paris Agreement last year was the agreement of an enhanced transparency framework (TF) set out in Article 13. Before the Paris Agreement, Annex I Parties and non-Annex I Parties had two different sets of reporting requirements. Once the Paris Agreement is in force, the new TF will apply to all Parties, while allowing flexibility to take into account Parties’ various capacities.
In Bonn this May, the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA) released a set of questions to the APA Co-Chairs to help guide Parties in their deliberations under APA provisional agenda item 7 (modalities and procedures for the effect operation of the committee in Article 15 of the Paris Agreement) to help prepare for COP22. The APA also invited Parties to submit their views on other agenda items concerning the TF, in hopes of facilitating the TF sessions at COP22.
Today, Nov. 8 2016, the Parties met in several informal consultations to discuss the modalities, procedures, and guidelines (MPGs) of the Paris Agreement’s TF. The MPGs for action and support referred to in Article 13 of the Paris Agreement are not fully developed yet, which is why the Parties met at an informal consultation today to begin discussions and developing a work plan for MPGs of the TF. The Secretariat asked the Parties to discuss and prioritize the following three main topic areas:
(1) what should be the key elements of the modalities, procedures, and guidelines for the TF? (2) with respect to the elements identified under question 1, how should experience from the existing MRV arrangements under the Convention inform the MPGs and how should flexibility for those developing country Parties that need it in the light of their capacities be reflected? and (3) how should we organize work in 2017 and 2018 to ensure that the MPGs are created on time?
At this consultation, Brazil and Singapore both emphasized the urgency to complete a work plan given the tight timeline (the Paris Agreement was ratified almost four years before most Parties expected), and therefore believed that creating a work plan was the most important issue. The European Union (EU) emphasized its desire to focus on clarifying the MPGs in terms of the “flexibility” aspect of the TF. The EU stated that the submissions of the Parties in response to the APA questions after Bonn already provide a lot of information, so the APA should draw on those submissions and move forward here at COP22.
All Parties agreed on the need for a pragmatic approach to design a system and be deliberate to use the information available, while seeking staff and tech means to finance the work as well. There will be three more meetings on the MPGs of Article 13, at which the Parties will seek to develop a work plan to be completed by 2018. Hopefully these meetings will develop effective MPGs for the TF before leaving Marrakech