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Ex-Ante Clarification, Transparency, and Understanding of Intended Nationally Determined Mitigation Contributions

Discussions are being initiated this month at the UNFCCC negotiating session in Bonn, Germany on the types of information that will be needed to understand the nationally determined contributions Parties put forward for the post-2020 period under the emerging 2015 Agreement.

This working paper aims to inform the identification of information requirements that can ensure clarity, transparency, and understanding, and by doing so improve trust amongst Parties and provide a basis for a more equitable and ambitious agreement.

Executive Summary

Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are negotiating an international agreement for the post-2020 period, to be adopted by 2015, that aims to limit the rise of the global average temperature to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels (hereafter referred to as the “2015 Agreement”). In preparation for the 2015 Agreement, Parties decided at the 19th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 19) in Warsaw to initiate or intensify preparation of their intended nationally determined contributions. The COP 19 decision further stipulates that contributions are to be submitted “in a manner that facilitates the clarity, transparency and understanding of the intended contributions.” Discussions are being initiated at the negotiations session in March 2014 on which information is essential for facilitating clarity, transparency and understanding of the contributions and what level of specificity is useful and necessary for those purposes in order to facilitate Parties’ domestic preparation of their intended nationally determined contributions. It is critical that the identification of information requirements results in a robust yet manageable list of information for Parties to provide with their contributions. Transparency and clarification of post-2020 contributions is one of the main levers to encourage greater ambition and accountability in the 2015 Agreement.

This working paper aims to inform the identification of such information. The paper is organized as follows: first we explore the importance of ex-ante information on mitigation contributions; we then provide an overview of contribution types, followed by a list of information requirements by contribution type. The appendices provide examples of how a Party might fill out the information requirements.

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