The enhanced transparency framework is central to the design, credibility and operation of the Paris Agreement. The development of the transparency portion of the Rulebook did not start from scratch as countries were able to draw on earlier experience under the UNFCCC. Unlike previous UNFCCC arrangements, however, the Paris Agreement set out to build a common set of guidelines for all countries, while providing flexibility for developing countries that need it.

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Specifically, the enhanced transparency framework guides countries on reporting their greenhouse gas emissions, progress toward their NDCs, climate change impacts and adaptation, support provided and mobilized, and support needed and received. The enhanced transparency framework also includes processes for technical experts to review reported information and a multilateral peer review where countries can ask questions of one another.

For the Rulebook negotiations, countries had to agree on when the Paris Agreement’s enhanced transparency framework would replace the existing transparency arrangements and on the specific provisions, guidelines and processes for reporting and review.

Key Rulebook Decisions from COP24

Countries adopted the guidelines necessary to operationalize the enhanced transparency framework. They agreed to report under the enhanced transparency framework through documents known as biennial transparency reports (BTRs) and agreed that the first BTRs will be due by December 31, 2024. Countries will complete their existing transparency reports by December 31, 2022 (for developed countries) and December 31, 2024 (for developing countries).

Many of the specific reporting provisions have been enhanced compared to the previously existing transparency arrangements, particularly for developing countries. The table below illustrates some of the key differences between the new enhanced transparency framework and previous arrangements under the UNFCCC.

The Enhanced Transparency Framework’s Requirements

Existing UNFCCC Arrangements Paris Agreement’s Enhanced Transparency Framework
Different requirements for developed and developing countries Countries have a common set of guidelines and process. Flexibility is provided for those developing coun- tries that need it in light of their capacities, but this flexibility is bounded by the specific provisions in the guidelines. Developed countries must report on finance provided and mobilized, while other countries that contribute finance are encouraged to report on this.
Different reporting vehicles—biennial reports for developed countries and biennial update reports for developing countries All countries will submit a biennial transparency report. The scope of the biennial transparency report is similar to the previous reports but has been expanded to include voluntary information on climate change impacts and adaptation (including loss & damage) and a focus on tracking progress to achieve NDCs.
Different expert and in-person peer-review processes All countries will participate in the same technical expert review and facilitative, multilateral consideration of progress. The consideration of progress will now have an online component allowing for participation from remote experts.
Not existing process for planning improvements Countries must prepare an improvement plan on how they intend to improve their reporting over time.

Remaining Negotiating Mandates

Given the scope of the negotiations under the enhanced transparency framework, countries did not have adequate time to reach decisions on all technical aspects of the framework during COP24. Countries left three technical issues for continued discussion:

  1. Common reporting tables and tabular formats.
  2. Outlines of the biennial transparency report, national inventory document, and technical expert review report.
  3. A training program for technical experts participating in the technical expert review.

Countries aim to finish these additional negotiations in 2020, and also agreed to review the guidelines for the enhanced transparency framework in 2028.


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