Time is of the Essence on Transparency

10 May 2017

Transparency, covered by Article 13 of the Paris Agreement, is crucial to make sure the Paris Agreement works. Without strong transparency provisions, how will we even know if we are on track to reaching the Agreement’s objectives and if everyone is implementing what they pledged. Transparency is also really complicated. For anyone not aware of this, it became apparent in yesterday’s contact group. A big part of the discussion is still focused on the conceptual elements of Article 13. But delegates, you only have until 2018 to finalize strong modalities, procedures, and guidelines, so it is time to really get to work on these.


The objective is to build a common, robust, and inclusive framework to enhance clarity and effectiveness. Sure, the agreement must account for different national circumstances, allow for flexibility where needed and reflect equity. But it also has to be strong enough to make all countries accountable for doing what they pledged.


The modalities, procedures and guidelines need to be robust enough to ensure we get the necessary level of detail on individual Parties’ actions and the support they are providing or receiving. Delegates should also make sure we get information on how countries are implementing their commitments in a way that respects overarching principles reflected in the Agreement, including the integrity of ecosystems, human rights, food security, just transition, indigenous peoples” rights, gender equality, and intergenerational equality.


The modalities, procedures and guidelines should recognize and promote the role of civil society. Non-Party stakeholders can make a great contribution to the effectiveness and integrity of the transparency framework. ECO was happy to see that yesterday’s sessions were open to observers, and this needs to be maintained. Negotiations about transparency conducted in a non-transparent manner would just be a bit weird…


The entire transparency framework needs to be completed by 2018. Time is of the essence here. ECO encourages Parties to maintain a good pace throughout 2017 and dedicate the necessary time to discuss, interact and agree on a common, robust, and inclusive framework, delivered on time, with all dimensions of the issue thoroughly considered and addressed.


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