Improving governance frameworks for climate transparency

Every seat in the room of the NDC Partnership Pavilion was taken, when Neelam Singh from the World Resources Institute (WRI) opened the side event on “Improving governance frameworks for climate transparency and unlocking ambition across all levels” of the NDC Support Cluster on the first day of the 24th Conferences of Parties (COP24) in Katowice.

The event highlighted how the actions of national government and non-state and subnational actors can mutually reinforce each other and operate as part of a single system. Jenny Mager from the Ministry for the Environment in Chile and Sebastian Carranza from the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development in Colombia shared information on the institutional set ups that their countries are strengthening to improve integration of state and non-state actions in transparency frameworks for nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and low-emission development strategies (LEDS). Additionally, side event participants shared their experiences and discussed challenges and solutions.

Challenges that countries face include:

  • Maintaining a sustainable structure that formalizes systemic information gathering. It was highlighted that the Capacity Building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) could play an important role in addressing this barrier.
  • Very different capacities and priorities at sub-national level. It was noted that these need to be considered when designing approaches to build local capacities and creating incentives for local stakeholders to participate in any domestic transparency system. It was recommended to focus on a select set of key indicators.
  • Different MRV methodologies that are being applied at the subnational level need to be harmonized. For private sector reporting, several helpful resources were identified, such as the GHG Protocol.

One key theme that emerged was the need to articulate the benefits and incentives for participating in transparency efforts, coupled with mandates to ensure defined roles and responsibilities for information gathering.  Many highlighted that climate change laws are an important tool to create legal mandates for institutional data gathering and for putting in place structures and institutions at various levels that support transparency. Colombia already has a climate change law, while Chile hopes to have one in place by next year. Mexico’s climate change law has an entire chapter dedicated to subnational engagement and is working on standardized guidelines to support measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) at local level.

Participants also noted that the challenges of putting in place a comprehensive system should not deter countries – it was better to begin with something simple and improve over time. The event closed by showcasing some key resources and sources for support in building capacity for climate transparency. For more information on this, please download the PowerPointPresentation.

This event was co-organized by WRI, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammanarbeit (GIZ) for the NDC Support Cluster in cooperation with the LEDS Global Partnership and the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency. It continued an expert dialogue the Cluster had kicked-off during a workshop in June 2018 in Washington D.C. At the DC workshop, experts from implementing organisations, think tanks, civil society and national and sub-national government bodies of selected countries discussed options for building and strengthening climate transparency and governance frameworks at all levels to support NDC implementation. Find more information on the workshop outcomes here: https://www.ndc-cluster.net/blog/leveraging-multi-level-governance-implementing-ndcs

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