Transparency Working Group
Transparency of action and support will underpin a credible climate regime. It is critical for building trust between Parties and holding them to account in the fulfillment of their commitments, and is needed to both understand what countries are offering in their INDCs and to track progress of mitigation, means of implementation, and adaptation actions.
CAN therefore believes that Parties should move towards a robust MRV framework, with 2016-2020 acting as a transition period, and that most developing countries will only be able to enhance their efforts with sufficient provision of support; taking into account LDCs.
The CAN Transparency & MRV working group’s advocacy efforts to this end include intelligence gathering, organizing bilateral meetings with Parties, text analysis, and producing ECO articles.
At COP 23, Parties to the UNFCCC must realize the vision of Paris by making substantial progress on all agenda items under the Paris Agreement Work Programme. The development of a zero draft of the implementation guidelines, in form of a text, will be a key milestone to measure success.
COP 23 must also lay the ground, in form of a roadmap, for a successful facilitative dialogue in 2018 to assess collective progress towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and indications of implications for revised NDCs.
Several elements will be necessary for creating the right conditions for enabling both immediate and longer-term action:
Raising Ambition to Avoid Increasing Impacts:
- The Ambition Mechanism consists of three elements: a facilitative “Talanoa dialogue” in 2018 (FD2018), to assess collective progress against a 1.5°C pathway and to increase ambition thereafter, a second periodic review to translate science into policy, and a global stocktake to increase ambition every 5 years. Comprehensive progress must be made in the design of these elements at COP 23 to ensure they fulfil the potential for raising ambition that they embody.
- Loss and Damage: CAN believes that the first Pacific COP is a unique opportunity for the WIM to fully implement its mandate. This includes generating and providing finance for loss and damage, including from innovative sources, adopting a stronger five-year workplan for the WIM than the one the ExCom approved in October, mandating the WIM and SCF to elaborate modalities for clear and transparent accounting of finance for loss and damage, and providing adequate finance to implement the mandate of the WIM.
- Adaptation: Adaptation must be part of the ambition mechanism. In order to make that happen, clear guidelines for adaptation communications need to be adopted by 2018 and the Global Goal on Adaptation needs to be operationalized. A more comprehensive review of the institutional arrangements on adaptation, including National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), must also be initiated to determine if they are fit-for-purpose.
- Agriculture: To enhance the implementation of the Paris Agreement and to identify and catalyze action to address gaps in knowledge, research, action and support, a joint SBSTA/SBI Work Programme on Agriculture and Food Security should be established by COP 23.
Support for Action to Enable Increased Ambition:
- Finance: COP 23 should result in progress towards ramping up climate finance to US$100 billion a year by 2020 to be increased by 2025, progress in mobilizing private finance in developing countries, and improved transparency of finance mobilized and provided. The imbalance between mitigation and adaptation finance should also be recognized and lead to increased adaptation finance and confirmation that the Adaptation Fund will serve the Agreement.
- Technology: The Technology Framework must ensure support for climate technology towards the goal of successfully implementing NDCs. To this end, the periodic assessment must include metrics and indicators that will enable countries to make informed choices and predict the needs of developing countries for transformational technologies.
Transparency of Action and Support:
- Enhanced Transparency Framework: A core set of robust and enforceable guidelines that build on and enhance the existing systems of transparency, towards a common framework, is critical in driving ambition. The modalities, procedures and guidelines (MPGs) should ensure that accurate and sufficient qualitative and quantitative information on adaptation, finance, policies and measures, and projections are submitted by Parties.
- Transparency of Action: MPGs must include transparency of mitigation and adaptation and should be broad enough to account for different NDC types towards providing up-to-date and relevant information to the global stocktake.
- Transparency of Support: Key concepts of modalities for accounting climate finance must be identified at COP 23, including further guidance on how to report on non-financial support. Support should be provided to developing countries that will enable them to comply with common standards of the transparency framework.
- Flexibility in the Transparency Framework: CAN encourages Parties to recognize flexibility in different ways for countries that need it while at the same time encourages Parties to make MPGs that could be implemented by all Parties that will ensure maximum levels of detail, accuracy, and comparability.
- Accounting for Agriculture Forestry and other Land Use (AFOLU): CAN believes that it is essential that all Parties account for emissions and removals from AFOLU in all land use sectors in a comparable and transparent way using the methodologies provided in the 2006 IPCC Guidelines and NDC-consistent base years measured using agreed methodologies.
- Accounting for International Transfers: CAN believes that any transfer of international units should help enhance ambition of NDCs. This can be done by ensuring that the guidelines for Article 6 avoid double counting and are in line with the goals of transparency, enhanced ambition, environmental integrity, human rights, and sustainable development.
- Accounting for International Shipping and Aviation: Parties should urgently take action through national, bilateral, regional and multilateral measures to reduce transport emissions and ensure that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) give adequate account of measures and efforts in the FD2018. Parties should also include information on bunker fuel burn and relevant transport work in their NDCs and ensure that the use of any mitigation outcomes guarantees environmental integrity and is not double counted.
Robustness of the Paris Agreement Now and Over Time:
- Long-Term Strategies and Action Agenda: To encourage increased ambition and early adoption of low-carbon pathways, all countries should come forward with long-term strategies as soon as possible, following a fully participatory planning process with G20 countries leading the way and submitting well before 2020. Strategies should include countries’ planned peak years, the year they expect to achieve a balance of sources and sinks, and details of conditions or support needed.
Limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require urgent, ramping up of pre-2020 action on mitigation, adaptation, and means of implementation.
- Civil Society Participation: Fijian “talanoa” spirit should serve the Parties with a longer-term framework for fruitful and balanced deliberations. In particular, active civil society participation should be guaranteed during the FD2018 process, the development of guidelines for the global stocktake, the transparency framework, deliberations on Article 6 and in the development and implementation of long-term strategies.
- Gender Action Plan and Indigenous People’s Platform: This year the Gender Action Plan should be adopted and the Local Communities and Indigenous People’s Platform should be made operational to ensure that those that may be victims of climate change are being empowered
The Paris Agreement was adopted with thundering applause worldwide and has entered into force in record time for providing a new architecture and regime for climate action past 2020. Now, we must deliver on the promise of the Paris Agreement by accelerating efforts in producing its implementation guidelines and ensuring greater ambition in the pre-2020 period and beyond.
ECO heartily applauds the move by Parties negotiating loss and damage yesterday to deviate from the bad practice of closing informals to Observers after the first session. ECO was inside the second informal meeting (after being there for the first), and neither did the sky fall in nor did Observers disrupt any conversations. The work of the loss and damage mechanism itself already sets a good example of inclusiveness and interaction with civil society. This now sets another precedent which all other informals should follow.
With transparency coming into focus in the APA, here are three cheat sheet answers to help with the transparency eye chart.
Transparency is a cross-cutting issue and Article 13 has many facets, making it a complicated piece of the Paris Agreement puzzle. To deal with this complexity, Parties need a boost of strong modalities, procedures and guidelines (MPG).
As people celebrated Bob Dylan’s birthday yesterday, negotiations in Bonn were ‘tangled up in blue’. ECO would like to inspire negotiators in answering the questions posed by the APA Co-Chairs.
Should the features and information on Nationally Determined Contributions be tailored to the type of NDCs or should they be tailored on some other basis? If so what? What lessons can be drawn in this respect from the INDCs already submitted?
‘ The times they are a-changin’
ECO has observed that many people believe there’s already an ambition mechanism in place. But the disappointing reality is, we don’t have one (yet). Though we left Paris with many useful things, that didn’t include a set of INDCs strong enough to support an real drive toward 1.5°C, nor even a clear plan for strengthening them.