The Paris Agreement on Climate Change rests upon a foundation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) originally submitted by Parties to the Convention in 2015, and formally adopted on November 4, 2016 as the Agreement entered into force. Each NDC represents the national plans and pledges individual countries have made to meet the universal goal of keeping global temperature increases to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels (while aiming for 1.5 degrees Celsius) to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
Consequently, a key result of the Paris Agreement negotiations was the establishment of an enhanced transparency framework for tracking and reporting the progress of existing and future country commitments, with built-in flexibility included for non-Annex I Parties. For this reason, the Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) was created at the request of Parties to help strengthen the institutional and technical capacities of non-Annex I countries to meet the enhanced transparency requirements defined in Article 13 of the Paris Agreement.
The CBIT has three aims:
- Strengthen national institutions for transparency-related activities in line with national priorities;
- Provide relevant tools, training, and assistance for meeting the provisions stipulated in Article 13 of the Agreement;
- Assist in the improvement of transparency over time.
What We Do
Transparency and accountability are key pillars of the Paris Agreement, and the CBIT is one of the ways in which the GEF is supporting the successful implementation of the Paris Agreement. For example, CBIT activities dovetail with the GEF’s critical provision of support to non-Annex I Parties to fulfill their reporting obligations under the UNFCCC, including National Communications and Biennial Update Reports.
The Paris Agreement requested the GEF to support the establishment of the CBIT through voluntary contributions during GEF-6 and future replenishment cycles. Following COP 21, the GEF established the CBIT within one year due to high levels of donor support and successful engagement with countries and other key stakeholders.
As an operating entity of the UNFCCC’s financial mechanism, the GEF will continue providing resources to developing countries in line with their NDCs under the Paris Agreement through the GEF Trust Fund, as well as the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF).
As of June 14, 2018, the GEF Secretariat has approved 41 projects under the CBIT Trust Fund. Within two years of its establishment, the CBIT Trust Fund is now a $53.2 million transparency initiative that includes 39 national projects in Africa, Asia, Eastern and Central Europe (ECA) and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).
CBIT countries are addressing priority needs to meet enhanced transparency requirements from the Paris Agreement, and include eleven Least Developed Countries (LDCs), five Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and two global projects that aim to improve knowledge sharing, coordination, and facilitate additional capacity-building.
In total, the GEF Secretariat received 52 CBIT project proposals for consideration in GEF-6, with thirteen project proposals in fiscal year 2017 and 39 proposals in fiscal year 2018. Of the total approved CBIT projects, 35 are PIF Approved and thus under development, while six have been CEO Approved and have begun implementation. As the demand for CBIT support exceeded resource availability, a number of proposals were deferred to GEF-7 for support.
The CBIT project in Uruguay aims to support the establishment of a National Transparency Task Force, a capacity-building needs and gaps assessment of the institutional enabling environment, a capacity- building program for the Ministry of Housing, Land Planning and Environment, and a knowledge-sharing information system.
In South Africa, the CBIT project seeks to fast-track the operationalization of a new climate change monitoring and evaluation system and to enhance the capacity of the Department of Environmental Affairs to provide guidance on transparency-related work to relevant entities. It will also address high personnel turnover by linking to education programs in the national universities and research centers.
Chile’s project plans to support the integration of climate data and analysis into policy-making and international reporting through the establishment of a centralized national climate information platform, with associated training, guidelines and tools.
In addition to the pool of approved country-led projects, a global, cross-cutting coordination platform has been established to support CBIT management and to enable coordination, maximize learning opportunities, and enable knowledge sharing among CBIT countries to facilitate transparency enhancements. The Global Coordination Platform seeks to engage countries, agencies, and other relevant institutions to enhance partnership of national, multilateral, and bilaterally-supported capacity-building initiatives.
The CBIT in GEF-7 will be supported from the GEF Main Trust Fund, which is in line with the GEF Council decision on the Establishment of the CBIT Trust Fund, which stated that CBIT efforts will be an integral part of GEF’s climate change support for GEF-7, financed by the GEF Trust Fund under regular replenishment.
The GEF-7 period (2018 to 2022) coincides with a key phase in the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Per the rules of the Paris Agreement, each Party is expected to update its NDC every five years and the information reported will inform a global “stocktake” that will assess collective progress towards achieving the 2 degree Celsius goal. The specific common modalities, procedures and guidelines (MPGs) that will inform the enhanced transparency framework are expected to be developed by the conclusion of COP 24 in Katowice, Poland (or shortly thereafter), and the GEF will incorporate the results into the CBIT program so that future projects reflect the evolving transparency demands of the Paris Agreement.