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Free Content MRV under the UN climate regime: paper tiger or catalyst for continual improvement?

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One of the most contentious issues at the 2009 UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen, and one which has persisted in the successive rounds of negotiation since then, is, in diplomatic lingo, ‘MRV’ (monitoring, reporting and verification). Expanding the MRV regime to include mitigation actions is an opportunity to support, rather than burden, developing countries in their efforts to improve their climate performance over time, consistent with sustainable development – if done in a sensible way. The article reviews the essence of this debate and suggests one pragmatic approach to ensure that national actions are indeed measurable, reportable and verifiable, namely adopting a certification scheme for national climate management systems (NCMS, which would require countries to establish a climate policy, set national goals and timetables, secure resources to implement related national actions and track their progress over time). Based on the high level of agreement among Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on the need for comprehensive frameworks to facilitate forestry and energy sector mitigation by developing countries, supported by financial resources, technology and capacity building, an NCMS certification scheme is well suited to add value to the existing MRV regime both for developed and developing countries.
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Keywords: MRV; UNFCCC; certification; continual improvement; low-carbon development; management system; mitigation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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