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.


Frequent and Flexible: Options for Reporting Guidelines for Biennial Update Reports

The Cancun Agreements outlined the list of topics to be included in biennial reports and indicated that guidelines for them were to be developed, but provided limited guidance on their structure and content. This paper proposes a structure for biennial reports for both developed and developing countries under the UNFCCC, and outlines possible reporting formats by which countries could submit this information.

The paper suggests that: (i) a similar structure is developed for biennial reports from both developed and developing countries; this would ensure consistency of information presented within different countries’ reports, and would also facilitate international assessment and review (IAR) and international consultations and analysis (ICA); (ii) three main sections are included for biennial reports from all Parties: GHG inventory information; progress on mitigation and mitigation actions; and financial, technology and capacity building support; in addition, a section on emissions projections would be mandatory for developed countries and optional for developing countries; (iii) biennial reports focus on key information where possible, with fuller descriptions and background information reported either in annexes (in the case of national inventory reports from developing countries) or less frequently via other reporting mechanisms under the UNFCCC (such as national communications).

This paper also proposes that flexibility be maintained in the reporting guidelines for biennial reports. This could be achieved through the use of “reporting levels” which reflect the different national circumstances and levels of reporting experience between Parties (particularly within the group of developing country Parties). Parties could choose the most appropriate level for each section of their report according to their goal type or reporting capacity, and “move up” levels as and when they can (as is currently the case for GHG inventory calculations). A limited number of levels are suggested for developed countries, as in many cases reporting to the highest level is already mandatory for these countries. For developing countries there could be greater flexibility and a higher number of reporting levels, reflecting the broad range of national circumstances and reporting capacities within this group. The introduction of reporting levels into guidelines would allow countries to provide information at a level that is consistent with their current capabilities, and to improve their reporting over time.


Keywords: climate change, measurement, greenhouse gas, reporting and verification
JEL: Q54: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics / Climate; Natural Disasters and Their Management; Global Warming; F53: International Economics / International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy / International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations; 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; Q58: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics / Environmental Economics: Government Policy
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