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UNFCC #Together4Transparency Unites Stakeholders Tracking Climate Progress and Support

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At COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh last month, the UN Climate Change secretariat hosted a series of events under the banner of “Together 4 Transparency”. The two-week series covered a range of transparency issues from achievements made over the past 30 years to showcasing successes and best practices to carry forward. These include gathering, analyzing, reporting and reviewing climate data and information to inform decision- and policy-making in preparation for the full implementation of the Paris Agreement.

The series of events and activities underscored that transparency is much more than just reporting and reviewing relevant climate information. Rather, transparency is a central pillar of the Paris Agreement and a key part of the effective implementation of climate commitments in the form of tracking of progress and support.

At one of the events, Deputy Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change Ovais Sarmad commented: “Transparency enables a global conversation about where we are making progress and how actions are generating impacts. When all the pieces are put together, transparency also allows the global community to see if our collective efforts and investments are meeting expectations – and if they are not, transparency encourages us all to do more.”

Stiell on transparency
Credit: UN Climate Change
UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell urged delegates at COP27 to “enhance the delivery of the principles of transparency and accountability”
Broad participation in the Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF), agreed in Paris in 2015, is essential for countries to reach the central objective of Paris Agreement of limiting global average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees compared to pre-industrial levels while also meeting their own Sustainable Development Goals.

Global Climate Ambassador Racquel Moses said, “Transparency is an opportunity to bring everybody along on this journey towards the achieving of the goals that we’ve set… It helps to provide that common framework for us to discuss who is doing it right, what can we learn from the ones that are doing it right, who is behind and what do they need.”

Eleven developing countries participated in the Facilitative Sharing of Views (FSV), which is mandated under the UNFCCC’s Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI). The FSV event demonstrated how the countries are strengthening efforts to tackle climate change and also showcased their achievements. FSV is part of the International Consultation and Analysis, in which developing countries share experiences gained through the preparation and analysis of their Biennial Update Reports. They also identify their needs to facilitate effective preparations for transitioning to the ETF.
The Consultative Group of Experts (CGE), which assists developing country Parties fulfil their reporting requirements under the Convention and supports the implementation of the ETF, shared information on their support to developing countries and findings from the 2022 CGE transparency needs assessment. They also collected feedback on topics of the 2023 CGE capacity-building activities.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is the UN body tasked with assessing climate science and providing guidance on estimation methodologies for greenhouse gas inventories, provided updates on the recently launched new generation of the IPCC inventory software and support available for developing countries.
Researchers presented results of recent studies of the existing reporting and review process and offered insights into preparing for the ETF. Journalists were also invited to speak at the events highlighted the experiences and opportunities in communicating the UNFCCC process to the global audience.
Observers, in recognition of the extensive experience and expertise that lies among non-Party stakeholders as well as the many benefits of bringing transparency issues closer to citizens, emphasized the need to foster greater cooperation with governments and the UNFCCC. For example, representatives of the building and transport sectors discussed the need for good climate data and information as part of their efforts to curb emissions, attract support, and transition the building and transport sectors to net-zero emissions.
At the end the two weeks, a recurring theme emerged: as countries continue to build a transparent framework for action and support, they will be better positioned to develop effective national policies. In addition, transparent information can be used to raise public awareness and generate the political momentum necessary to sustainably advance their own economies.

Ultimately, enhanced transparency will also benefit younger generations whose futures depend on the success or failure of the UN Climate Change process. At one of the #Together4Transparency events at COP27, the Chair of UN Secretary-General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change Nisreen Elsaim, challenged all involved in transparency processes to truly “dare to be transparent”. “Stakeholders learn the most from others, not just by sharing successes, but also failures,” she said.



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