It’s the Transparency, Stupid!*

The goal of strengthening transparency systems is not a new one; it’s been on the table since COP16 in Cancun, and work has been ongoing since then. The enhanced transparency framework is at the heart of delivering the Paris Agreement and achieving the level of ambition consistent with keeping warming to less than 1.5°C. Transparency is equally applicable to both action and support, and enhanced reporting of climate finance should be seen as an opportunity to win more ambition on finance, by clarifying what exactly is counted.

Completing negotiation of the rules for the enhanced transparency framework for action and support established in the Paris Agreement by COP23 in 2017 would contribute to a more effective 2018 facilitative dialogue, inform countries’ updating of INDCs, and help facilitate the more detailed discussions on NDCs and accounting guidance.

The guiding questions from the APA co-chairs on transparency give us a good start. To make real progress on the transparency discussions, Parties need to agree on a work programme from Bonn aimed at delivering clarity on just what “built-in flexibility” means, and how this might co-exist with a “common framework”. We also need to reach a shared understanding of what is meant by “converging over time” to give a sense of direction and progression, while ensuring flexibility in modalities, procedures and guidance for countries with lower capacity.

*Dear reader, ECO of course does not think you are stupid, but is simply paraphrasing Bill Clinton.