The International Partnership on Mitigation and MRV focusses its activities on four main topics:
At COP 19, held in Warsaw in November 2013, Parties to the UNFCCC decided (Decision 1/CP.19) ‘to invite all Parties to initiate or intensify domestic preparations for their intended nationally determined contributions, without prejudice to the legal nature of the contributions, in the context of adopting a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties towards achieving the objective of the Convention as set out in its Article 2 and to communicate them well in advance of the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (by the first quarter of 2015 by those Parties ready to do so) in a manner that facilitates the clarity, transparency and understanding of the intended contributions, without prejudice to the legal nature of the contributions’. This decision was reiterated at COP 20, held in Lima 2014 (1/CP.20 (32), ‘Lima Call for Climate Action’). Parties also agreed in Lima that INDCs towards achieving the objective of the Convention should represent a progression beyond current mitigation efforts and prevent backsliding.
INDCs shall make it possible to track progress and achieve a collective ambition level sufficient to limit global warming to below 2°C relative to pre-industrial levels. To this end INDCs shall comprise a mitigation goal which represents a progression beyond current undertakings of the Party. That goal needs to be transformed into an eventually legally binding mitigation commitment under the 2015 agreement, and must be transparent, quantifiable, comparable, verifiable and ambitious. Once this transformation has taken place the contributions are not ‘intended’ anymore.
2. Low-Emission Development Strategies (LEDS)
LEDS are national, high-level, comprehensive, long-term strategies, developed by domestic stakeholders, which aim at decoupling economic growth and social development from green-house-gas (GHG) emissions growth. In other words, the goal of a LEDS is to make development climate-compatible. There are a number of other denominations for similar policy instruments, such as Low Carbon Development Strategy, Climate-Compatible Development Plan, or National Climate Change Plan. But the aims, purposes and basic elements are not very different
- A LEDS is a policy instrument that identifies the sources of a country’s GHG emissions and prioritizes options for their mitigation.
- A LEDS focuses on achieving development through mitigation actions.
- A LEDS helps to improve framework conditions for private sector investment in mitigation actions
3. Nationally Appropiate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs)
During the climate negotiations in Cancun, parties agreed that developing countries will take nationally appropriate mitigation actions or NAMAs to reduce their GHG emissions.
In contrast to the CDM, NAMAs need not be project-based and do not necessarily address point-sources of emissions or result in the issuance of carbon credits to be bought and sold in the carbon market. A NAMA is simply any action that ultimately contributes to greenhouse gas emission reductions while addressing the development needs of a country.
While a NAMA may encompass a specific project or measure to reduce emissions in the short-term, it may also encompass policies, strategies and research programs that lead to emissions reductions in the long-term.
The open and flexible nature of the NAMA has given rise to three finance-sourcing typologies, which are outlined below, including the expectations for monitoring, reporting and verifying (MRV) the results of the NAMA:
- Unilateral NAMAs (to be financed domestically; domestic MRV in accordance with guidelines developed under the climate convention)
- Supported NAMAs (to recieve international support, MRV according to international guideliens developed under the climate convention
- Credited NAMAs (to recieve private sector funding that results in carbon credits)
- M for Measurement or Monitoring:
Depending on who you ask, the M stands for Measurable or for Monitoring. While the word “measurable” was originally used in the Bali Action Plan, it has since been replaced in some circles by the term “monitoring” since in a strict sense the aim is to monitor, rather than to measure.
Either way, the intent of the “M” is to keep track of two things:
1) greenhouse gases – both those emitted and those reduced or avoided through mitigation actions, and
2) the support provided in the form of financing, capacity building and technologies for carrying out the mitigation actions.
The bottom line is that the “M” should collect information about whether the world is on track to stay below the 2-degree warming target and that adequate support is being provided.
- R for Reporting
The R represents a commitment by parties to the climate convention to report progress on climate-related activities. Reporting under the convention happens via national communications; however, current reporting does not capture uniformly information about such things as mitigation actions, emissions projections and GHG inventories, particularly from developing countries. Given the growing share of GHG emissions from these parties, more frequent and more robust reporting is necessary to create greater transparency. The Cancun Agreements state that developing country parties should submit national communications every four years, as well as biennial update reports containing key mitigation information, assuming that adequate support for reporting is provided.
- V for Verification:
The purpose of verification is to ensure that reported information is correct and that confirmed methodologies for monitoring mitigation progress have been applied. The verification process might entail independent experts analyzing biennial update reports or sectoral specialists verifying the results of mitigation actions. Verification could also result in improvements in the quality of reported information by generating recommendations and facilitating collegial exchange.