OECD/IEA Climate Change Expert Group Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected papers on climate change issues that have been prepared for the OECD/IEA Climate Change Expert Group (CCXG). The CCXG (formerly called the Annex I Expert Group) is a group of government delegates from OECD and other industrialised countries. The aim of the group is to promote dialogue and enhance understanding on technical issues in the international climate change negotiations. CCXG papers are developed in consultation with experts from a wide range of developed and developing countries, including those participating in CCXG Global Forums.

The full papers are generally available only in English.

The opinions expressed in these papers are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OECD, the IEA or their member countries, or the endorsement of any approach described therein.


Core Elements of National Reports

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol established reporting requirements for Parties. This has resulted in comprehensive and timely information on national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from Annex I Parties, periodic reporting of other information from Annex I Parties and irregular provision of GHG emissions and other information from non-Annex I Parties. Thus, the current reporting framework does not enable a complete or up-to-date assessment of current global GHG emissions, goals, projected future emission trends or mitigation actions and their effects.

This paper explores options for the functions, form, timing and content of future national reports under the UNFCCC, focusing on national communications. It suggests that reporting guidelines for future national communications could be “tiered”. This could allow countries to produce national communication “updates” on a frequent (e.g. biennial) basis – focusing the information in these updates on information of most relevance to the international community. “Full” national communications would also continue to be produced, but less frequently than “updates”. Different tiers could be established according to the type of country (e.g. Annex I or non-Annex I); type of mitigation pledge (e.g. nation-wide emissions limit, sectoral goal, mitigation action); and/or the frequency with which changes in particular parameters occur. Such a tiered approach could also provide flexibility for countries to improve the content and frequency of information that they report as their capacities allow. “Updates” to national communications, containing more targeted information on key elements, could be more user-friendly and could focus on the core elements in which national and international users are interested.

Streamlined “updates” to national communications could therefore focus on parameters that either change frequently and/or are not currently reported or systematically included in national communications or other climate reports under the UNFCCC. This includes: regular information on historical GHG emissions (including calculation methodology and transfers of units) for many countries, as well as on financial support from Annex I countries; short or medium-term mitigation goals and strategies (e.g. to 2020); progress in implementing such goals and strategies; and improved information on financial needs in terms of GHG mitigation and adaptation activities (by non-Annex I countries).


Keywords: climate change, greenhouse gas, mitigation, measurement, reporting, verification
JEL: Q58: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics / Environmental Economics: Government Policy; Q54: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics / Climate; Natural Disasters and Their Management; Global Warming; Q56: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics / Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth; F53: International Economics / International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy / International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations
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