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UN Climate Change: Advancing the Global Work on Climate Transparency


An informal network of governments, international agencies and support organizations is driving forward efforts to support developing countries in reporting the climate action they are taking. Transparency of climate action and support is key to achieving the Paris Agreement goals.

Since its establishment in 2016 by UN Climate Change and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the network, known as the Group of Friends (GoF), has provided a platform for support providers to exchange information and experiences in engaging with and assisting developing countries in their transparency efforts.

Such support is crucial, as many developing country Parties are facing huge challenges in transitioning from the current measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) arrangements under the UNFCCC to the Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF) under the Paris Agreement. The support provided by the Group of Friends in addressing these challenges will help ensure that no one gets left behind in the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

The Group’s meetings are joined by representatives from governments and support organizations, including Belgium, Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand (Agricultural GHG Research Centre), Norway, Singapore, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States of America, as well as by representatives of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Greenhouse Gas Management Institute (GHGMI), Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT), Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), IPCC TFI, NDC Partnership, Partnership on Transparency in the Paris Agreement (PATPA), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), UNDP, UN Environment, UNEP-DTU Partnership, UNFCCC secretariat and the World Resources Institute.

“We at IGES have come to rely on the Group of Friends whenever we want to get in touch with other support providers. We don’t know of any other platform like the GoF, where individuals and organizations working on transparency capacity building can freely exchange their views. We hope the GoF will play a substantial role in the implementation of the ETF,” said Chisa Umemiya, Research Manager, IGES.

The coming years are critical for the climate change process under the UNFCCC and the implementation of the Paris Agreement, not only in terms of achieving ambitious climate goals and implementing national climate action plans, known as NDCs, but also because the arrangements for climate transparency under the ETF will be fully implemented.

“ICAT highly values the opportunity to engage through the GoF with other initiatives providing support to countries’ transparency efforts to ensure that our activities are complementary and well-aligned.

This is becoming increasingly important as countries intensify their efforts in recognition of the value of strong transparency frameworks to support their NDCs, both for implementing action and the further strengthening of targets,” said Henning Wuester, Director of ICAT.

At its 10th meeting on 10 May 2021, the Group of Friends focused on information and data exchange within the Group, as well as on support to developing countries in preparing their first biennial transparency reports (BTRs) by 31 December 2024.

Next on the agenda, the Group will delve more into the specific aspects and needs of individual regions. The Group will also strengthen its collaboration across the network and enhance information sharing on current and planned initiatives to support developing countries in transitioning to the new transparency framework.

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