One of the side events of the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP 23) in Bonn, November 2017, featured a panel discussion by representatives of three nations leading the way on climate transparency: Chile, Ghana and Indonesia. Organised by the World Resources Institute (WRI), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the NDC Support Cluster of the International Climate Initiative (IKI), the event provided the three panellists with a platform to share their experiences in developing and implementing transparency systems and to reflect on how transparency systems can be further developed as a tool for tracking progress towards meeting the targets enshrined in their nationally determined contributions (NDCs).
In her opening address for the event, Kirsten Orschulok of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) reflected on the crucial role the enhanced transparency framework (ETF) plays as the backbone of the Paris Agreement. She highlighted that transparency is important in two ways: for tracking progress towards the climate goals at the international level, and for providing information for policy-making and stakeholder engagement at the national level. Next on the agenda, WRI’s Kelly Levin and GIZ’s Hanna Reuter introduced the work of the NDC Cluster and, in particular, of its Data and Transparency thematic working group.
Following this, the three panellists – Alfonso Galarce Jaramillo of the Ministry of Environment of Chile, Daniel Tutu Benefoh of the Environmental Protection Agency of Ghana, and Belinda A. Margono of the Directorate General of Climate Change at Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry – took to the stage and engaged in a highly informative discussion about their approaches to measurement, reporting and verification (MRV).
Ms Margono explained that Indonesia’s MRV system is based on the country’s experience of reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) and that this system will be further developed using a step-wise approach. Reflecting on this, Mr Benefoh described how Ghana’s MRV system likewise builds on his country’s existing arrangements for development- and environment-related monitoring and evaluation (M&E). He also shared the lessons learned in Ghana from involving line ministries in the country’s transparency system, and he emphasised the importance of engaging a large number of people in the MRV process and then training them to capture knowledge so it is not lost when individuals leave the ministry. For his part, Mr Galarce Jaramillo discussed the need to integrate data from different sources (e.g. from sub-national government bodies or the private sector) to create a holistic system. He also stressed how important it is to make the information generated by a transparency system relevant for decision-makers and provided an example where information collected on energy generation and use supported both climate and energy policy-making.
The three panellists all confirmed that their respective countries are, at present, working to address the challenges involved in the vertical integration of transparency systems and the further development and integration of adaptation M&E.
The Data and Transparency thematic working group will continue its work to promote knowledge exchange between countries, organising joint activities throughout 2018 and beyond.