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Measuring the Way to a New Global Climate Agreement

Enacting a global climate change agreement hinges on finding common ground among countries on a set of interconnected questions: who should mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, who should bear the cost of mitigation, and how and under what circumstances the international community can recognize and hold actors accountable for meeting their obligations.

Executive Summary

This paper explores key provisions of the Bali Action Plan (BAP), adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2007, that begin to address these questions as part of a road map to a post 2012 agreement. We review existing international climate change agreements, national climate change strategies, Party submissions to the international climate policy negotiation process and other background literature. We first discuss how developing countries frame nationally appropriate mitigation actions. We then consider what forms of technology, financing and capacity-building might support them, and how both mitigation actions and support might be made measurable, reportable and verifiable (MRV) in the context of an international agreement. We suggest that a robust MRV framework for mitigation actions and support can make an important contribution to equitable and environmentally effective mitigation. We therefore propose that the development of a set of principles to guide the inclusion of MRV in the international climate policy framework may help achieve this crucial outcome.

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