Emergence and functioning of climate MRV systems in developing countries

It is widely assumed that transparency (understood here as disclosure of information) furthers accountability and more effective environmental action. In climate governance, transparency is assumed to help with making visible climate actions, track progress towards achieving emission reduction targets, and reduce mistrust amongst countries.

The aim is to hold countries to account for their performance and for complying with their obligations. The newly concluded Paris Agreement, agreed at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference in Paris in December 2015, calls for an “enhanced transparency framework” for mitigation action and support, to be applicable to all countries. At the national-level, including in a growing number of developing countries, this is currently being implemented through establishment of Measuring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) systems to document and report on climate actions.

This research analyses the dynamics and implications of the spread of climate-related MRV systems in the global South, and the opportunities and challenges facing their establishment and functioning. It explores design and capacity challenges, including insufficient data and lack of adequate information management capacities, but also the (contested) political context that shapes the design, scope and practices of MRV systems. The focus is both on evolving global-level transparency-related negotiations within the UNFCCC, and in-depth national-level case studies, with analyses of MRV systems in China, India and Indonesia.