Helping Developing Countries Track Progress on Paris Agreement

May 19, 2016

Capacity Building Initiative for Transparency will help developing countries to better track progress on Paris Climate Agreement.
Capacity Building Initiative for Transparency will help developing countries to better track progress on Paris Climate Agreement.

The GEF Secretariat held a special event on the Capacity Building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) during the Bonn Climate Change Conference in May 2016. The CBIT originated as a request from the UNFCCC COP to the GEF at its last meeting in Paris in order to help developing countries in their efforts to build institutional and technical capacity for enhanced transparency.

At the event, the GEF Secretariat provided an overview of actions taken by the GEF so far to establish a new trust fund for the CBIT, discussed the objectives and proposed programming directions, and outlined the next steps towards getting CBIT up and running. Several countries expressed their support to GEF’s initiative, including pledges of $15 million from the U.S., £10 million from the U.K., and $5 million from Canada. Others also confirmed their intention to announce their pledges in the near future.

The Paris Agreement includes a provision on enhanced transparency of action and support as a critical foundation to making its bottom-up, country-led approach work, and to build mutual trust and confidence. The Agreement decided that the GEF would establish the CBIT to support developing countries in meeting these enhanced transparency requirements.

Many developing countries still lack the capacity to effectively monitor and report their progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and track progress made in the implementation of their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. They also face challenges in getting credible information on adaptation and resilience to cope with the effects of climate change.

The CBIT will aim to strengthen national institutions for transparency-related activities in line with national priorities; provide relevant tools, training and assistance for meeting the transparency provisions of the Paris Agreement; and assist in the improvement of transparency over time.

The GEF Secretariat has worked with different groups to bring the CBIT to life, including through discussions with countries, the GEF Trustee, and other stakeholders and institutions. In April 2016, the GEF Secretariat convened a technical-level consultative dialogue with a range of existing and emerging players in the field of capacity-building, as well as an informal consultation meeting GEF Council Members, GEF focal points, and other government representatives, to facilitate an open discussion on steps needed for the establishment of the CBIT.

At the Bonn event, the UNFCCC Secretariat thanked the GEF for the fast establishment of the CBIT, and together with country representatives highlighted the importance of establishing long-term institutional capacity building and ensuring coordination with other initiatives in the realm of capacity building. Both developing and developed country representatives shared the view that activities supported under CBIT should be country-driven, and appreciated steps taken in that direction so far.

At the GEF Council to be held on June 7-9, 2016, two documents will be presented in this respect. One on the ‘Establishment of a New Trust Fund for the Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency’ and another on ‘Programming Directions for the Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency.’