From the office to the mangrove swamp – measuring climate action in Asia

From the office to the mangrove swamp – measuring climate action in Asia
09 May 2019

From the office to the mangrove swamp – measuring climate action in Asia

Ricardo’s Climate Change Team is used to supporting climate actions in countries around the world. Our activities, including technical assistance and capacity building, help countries develop, implement and monitor climate actions that are appropriate to their circumstances, and put them on a path to developing low carbon and climate resilient economies. Recently, however, I found myself in Jakarta getting a little more ‘hands on’ than normal – planting mangrove trees in the west of the city. This literally showed that we consultants don’t mind getting our hands dirty (or our feet for that matter).

This was part of the Partnership on Transparency in the Paris Agreement’s Asia Regional workshop – a 3-day gathering of climate and transparency experts from countries across the region that I facilitated. Held annually, these workshops provide an opportunity for the countries to network, share experiences and ideas, and come up with solutions to common challenges with respect to transparency under the Paris Agreement. The theme for this year’s workshop was ‘Tracking progress on Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and reporting under the Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF)’.

The various sessions of the workshop unpacked the specific reporting requirements under the ETF (which countries will need to meet from 2024); looked at detailed methodologies for transparency in the energy sector and the agriculture, forestry and land-use sector; and considered what further work countries needed to get ready for reporting under the ETF. Over the 3 days, some common themes came up.

  1. The ETF is evolution, not revolution (hence the ‘E’ in ETF – it enhances and builds on the framework under which countries currently report). In all countries, many of the reporting requirements under the ETF are already being met.
  2. Reporting under the current framework – through Biennial Update Reports (BURs) and National Communications – is the best way to gain experience and build capacity in advance of the reporting requirements under the ETF in 2024. So, countries should keep on doing what they are doing. And those countries that have not yet submitted their first BUR should consider doing so at the earliest possible opportunity.
  3. Naturally, there are some aspects of reporting under the ETF that countries aren’t yet meeting. This is fine – there are still 5 years before the reporting requirements have to be met. But it would be prudent for all countries to start mapping out a timeline for the next few years – to take them from where they are now to where they need to be by 2024 to meet the requirements of the ETF.

All of this suggests that some kind of roadmap for each country could be beneficial to show what the priority areas for development are over the next few years, how the country will work during that time to address them and what support they need in doing so.

Ricardo has a great deal of expertise and experience in developing transparency systems and have experts who are able to support countries in this process. And, if you need anyone to plant some mangrove trees for you, then get in touch – we don’t mind getting our hands dirty in efforts to tackle climate change.