Experts from donor and recipient countries met last week to share information about progress in meeting their Paris Climate Agreement commitments. The third annual Global Coordination Meeting and Technical Workshop gathered participants in the Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) on May 21-23 in Rome, Italy.
Organized by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the gathering allowed participants to share information about progress in strengthening institutional arrangements and building transparency systems to meet the requirements of the Paris Agreement enhanced transparency framework.
Attendees included seven CBIT donor countries (Belgium, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and 36 recipient countries from Africa, Asia, Eastern and Central Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean. This Rome gathering was the largest such gathering to date, with 100 attendees representing the growing CBIT community.
Article 13 of the Paris Agreement on climate change mandates the reporting of greenhouse gas emission inventories and of information to track progress of emission reduction efforts to keep global temperatures from rising to dangerous levels. The framework also calls for information related to climate change impacts and adaptation actions along with information on support needed, received and provided.
The CBIT was established by the GEF to help countries that struggle with a lack of funds, technical capacity, monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) systems, or other resources that facilitate transparency and reporting. Each CBIT project is unique and driven by the needs of the individual country.
The two-day technical workshop allowed representatives from countries with CBIT projects to share information and discuss common approaches to addressing transparency challenges. The one-day coordination portion of the meeting offered time for CBIT donor countries to learn more about how resources for transparency are being used, how to better coordinate support, and potential synergies with new partners.
A representative from the UNFCCC provided an update on the modalities, procedures and guidelines on transparency adopted at last year’s climate change conference in Katowice, Poland. The current Co-Chairs of the Paris Committee on Capacity-building (PCCB) presented on the work of the PCCB to date and on collaboration opportunities with the CBIT. They also appreciated the opportunity to listen to countries’ experiences in identifying and addressing capacity gaps.
Other key topics discussed included the implementation of sound climate institutional arrangements, building sustainable domestic MRV systems for tracking countries’ National Determined Contributions (NDCs), climate change mitigation scenarios, and monitoring and tracking climate finance. Presentations from experts in these fields from Aether, Stockholm Environment Institute, and the Climate Policy Initiative, were complemented by country presentations sharing experiences in addressing these areas of transparency through CBIT projects. Discussions in breakout groups provided participating countries additional opportunities to dig deeper to discuss challenges and share lessons learned.
An open marketplace between sessions allowed country participants to meet and learn about the capabilities of agencies and partners to support their work. Additional partner organizations included UNEP-DTU, Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT), Partnership for Transparency in the Paris Agreement (PATPA), Partnership to Strengthen Transparency for co-Innovation (PaSTI), and World Resources Institute (WRI).
CBIT participant countries and donors came away from the Rome gathering reinvigorated and recommitted to making transparency a priority in the Paris process. In particular, participants gained a sense of urgency considering the rapidly approaching deadline for the new transparency reports under the Paris Agreement and its linkages to more ambitious NDCs.
Since 2014, the CBIT has provided US$74 million in funding across 48 projects in Africa, Asia, Eastern and Central Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Around 80 countries have been a part of the initiative so far, with this number expected to increase in the coming months and years. Implementing agencies include Conservation International, the Food and Agricultural Organization, the Inter-American Development Bank, UN Environment, and UNDP.
Countries and partners can continue to share experiences, tools, and methodologies via the online CBIT Global Coordination Platform. Presentations from the meeting can be found at https://www.cbitplatform.org/knowledge-corner/cbit-workshops.