Transparency: Seeing Through the Magnifying Glass on Item Five

10 November 2017

With all the talk of “skeletons” in the APA informals, ECO knows that the enhanced transparency framework will be the true “backbone” of the implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement, providing instructions for the reporting and reviewing of Parties” commitments and actions. The transparency framework needs to have strong bones if it’s going to truly support the responsibility of building trust and confidence between Parties and promoting effective implementation.


Many aspects of the existing transparency system work well and should be built upon, but it’s still far from perfect. Delays and incomplete information not only impact understanding, but also hold up critical review efforts to identify capacity-building gaps and needs. ECO believes the Paris Agreement means moving to a world where “common modalities, procedures and guidelines” will both allow transparency and comparability of all Parties” action and support; and deliver benefits for developing countries in enhanced capacity (with adequate support). ECO believes that it is possible to have a certain level of flexibility for countries that need it without jeopardizing transparency or a common approach that drives continuous improvement overtime.


With so much at stake, it seems worth pointing out the overarching benefits of an effective and robust transparency framework. With strong design and modalities, the transparency framework can:

  • Promote cooperation; (internationally, regionally, and domestically.)
  • Share experiences, best practices, and other opportunities for learning.
  • Strengthen the domestic capacity for policy action.
  • Identify capacity-building needs.
  • Allow parties and stakeholders to share relevant information on the implementation of NDCs.


ECO also knows that the conversation on transparency isn’t limited to Paris Agreement’s item 5. We are also on the lookout for guidance on accounting under item 3, and have our ears to the ground on SBSTA discussions on Loss and Damage, held behind closed doors!  Not at all transparent, by the way! And ECO will continue to keep our eyes and ears on the linkages and interplay between the transparency discussions and other critical elements, such as the mechanisms under Article 6, in order to get a full picture of Parties” views on transparency.


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