Enhanced Transparency Framework: The Transition Starts Now!

Some countries have already started the transition from the current MRV framework (from the Cancun Agreements) to the Enhanced Transparency Framework under the Paris Agreement. This was one of the main findings of the 8th Annual Partnership Retreat (APR) that took place in Broumana, Lebanon, from 18 - 23 October 2019.

More than 50 participants from developed and developing countries, non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations, including the UNFCCC Secretariat and the OECD, gathered for 6 days to share experience, knowledge and expectations in relation to the main topic of this year’s Annual Partnership Retreat (APR) of the Partnership on Transparency in the Paris Agreement (PATPA): “Enhanced Transparency Framework: Getting ready for the transition.”

At a point in which the negotiations on the Modalities, Procedures and Guidelines (MPGs) of the Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF) have been concluded, and with the corresponding common tabular formats and outlines for reporting expected to be finalized by COP26 (2020), many Parties are already planning to, and some are already taking first steps to transition to the ETF.

Despite the flexibility provisions enshrined in the Paris Agreement and detailed in the MPGs, many developing countries expect the efforts for the transition to be considerable. At the same time, the system, as designed, provides the opportunity for continuous improvement over time. By contrast, developed countries and many developing countries have gained experience in reporting and review over many years, which provides a valuable contribution to the ETF and its implementation as a whole.  

Developing countries are expected to submit their last Biennial Update Report (BUR) by 2024, the same year the first Biennial Transparency Report (BTR) will be due (for developed countries the deadline is 2022). This clearly shows that there is an overlap between the two reporting frameworks. Therefore, countries are already looking into ways of avoiding duplication of work, taking into account limitations in resources.

Furthermore, some countries are considering, as of their next submission, to deliver a hybrid report, which fulfils the requirements of the BUR, and at the same time already includes some aspects required for the BTR, as many elements are common to both reports. This allows countries to start gaining experience as soon as possible and ensures that the ongoing development of national systems and institutional arrangements is already aligned with the requirements of the ETF.

Participants noted that the early transition to the ETF will allow for early determination of capacity and of capacity building needs to fulfil the ETF requirements, which is crucial for the application of the flexibility provisions. It was acknowledged that by getting engaged into BUR preparation and submission and participation at the International Consultation and Analysis Process(ICA), countries are gaining necessary expertise to deal with ETF requirements in the future.

The APR focused on building trust and networks among negotiators and national practitioners, the spirit of an open exchange during the whole retreat allowed for an intense peer learning and, we hope, has contributed to promoting an intensification of countries’ planning for the transition to the ETF.

The APR 2019 took place in Lebanon, October 18-23. All presentations, the agenda and the workshop report can be downloaded here.