UNFCCC Releases Parties’ Submissions on Review of Reporting Guidelines

UNFCCC2 October 2012: The UNFCCC Secretariat has released the submissions from Australia, the EU, the Environmental Integrity Group (EIG), Japan and New Zealand, which contain their views on the review of reporting guidelines (FCCC/SBSTA/2012/MISC.17). Several parties have called for streamlining and avoiding duplication.

In response to the call by the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA) for submissions on the revision of guidelines for review of biennial reports and national communications, including national inventory reviews for developed country Parties, Australia calls for any reporting to be subject to only one form of review. Other suggestions in Australia's submission include: developing templates for use by reviewers, possibly with a “tick box” form to enable easier interpretation and comparison of outcomes; and organizing two technical workshops on streamlining of review guidelines, and on common rules, procedures and standards.

Cyprus and the European Commission (EC) on behalf of the EU and its Member States stress that reviews of national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories differ in nature from reviews of national communications and biennial reports, and call for separate guidelines in each case. They propose that review guidelines covering national GHG inventories be adopted at COP 19 or COP 20, and those covering national communications and biennial reports be adopted at COP 21 in 2015 or COP 22 in 2016, with the necessary preparation being carried out in parallel during 2013 and 2014.

The EIG proposes that the Secretariat conduct centralized reviews for Parties with total GHG emissions of less than 50 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, excluding land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF), and organize in-country reviews for Annex II Parties. They support avoiding duplication, stating that elements appearing in more than one report should only be reviewed once.

Japan proposes treating the guidelines for biennial reports and national communications separately from those covering GHG inventories, and for the drafting of guidelines to take place in technical workshops. The submission suggests that parties approve the work programme and timelines at the 37th meeting of SBSTA at the end of 2012, and that the review guidelines be discussed and approved at COP 19.

New Zealand recommends maintaining the frequency of reporting of GHG inventories, but reviewing these once every two years instead of annually. The submission envisages a single guidelines document that addresses common elements, together with separate chapters specifically covering GHG inventory review, biennial report review, and national communication review.

The submissions will be considered by SBSTA at its 37th session, scheduled to take place in Doha, Qatar, from 26 November - 1 December 2012. [Submissions on the Review of Reporting Guidelines]