Uruguay’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory Evolution as a Component of the MRV for the Country’s NDC

Tue, 01/21/2020 - 11:30


Uruguay is a high-income developing country with an agroindustry-based economy. Even if the country has only accounted for 0.07% of the total global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2012, Uruguay’s agroindustry and livestock related activities are an important source of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide
(N2O), being the main source of GHG in the country (for more information see MVOTMA and SNRCC, n.a.).

The country has shown a strong domestic and international commitment facing climate change challenges early on through its adhesion to the United Nations Framework for Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1994. The GHG inventory system reflects the evolution of the institutional arrangements and capacities
in place that support the data collection and processing, particularly between the Ministry of Housing, Land Planning and Environment (MVOTMA, for its acronym in Spanish), the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries (MGAP) and the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining (MIEM).

On a domestic level, from the early 1990s on, Uruguay continuously worked on creating a robust Policy framework to mainstream climate change into the national and sectoral policies while building the necessary institutions to implement them. In 2009, the Coordination Group of the National Response System to Climate Change and Variability (SNRCC) was created, which constitutes the main institutional arrangement for climate change-related topics. SNRCC coordinates MRV-related activities. Subsequently, the governance mechanisms were reinforced with the establishment of the National Environment, Water and Climate Change Office of the Presidency of the Republic (SNAACC) and the National Environmental System (SNA) both established by the Cabinet Council in 20161. In 2017, the National Climate
Change Policy (NCCP) was adopted (see República Oriental de Uruguay, 2017) creating a strategic instrument to guide the country to a low-carbon economy, providing a framework for Uruguay’s first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). Uruguay ratified the Paris Agreement (PA) in 2016 and presented
its first NDC in 2017 after enacting the NCCP.

The monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) system was conceived as an instrument to monitor the country’s NDC objectives to be reported to the UNFCCC. The GHG inventory is and will be a key information source to calculate the emissions and removals that are related to the mitigation measures
prioritised in the NDC. The MRV system design has a wider scope, also considering adaptation and other measures besides GHG-related ones. The MRV system is to be operational by the end of 2019 and will support the country’s accountability2 towards its population and compliance with the government’s
commitments made in its NDC3 .

The development of the GHG inventory and MRV system are considered good practice due to the strong political and technical commitment within public institutions. Coordination arrangements have been created and improved while building the necessary capacities to operate the systems. The unlocking of important domestic resources and coordination of efforts enables feedback loops and continuous improvements of the MRV system and GHG inventory, which contribute to the fulfilment of the NCCP and NDC objectives.