Designing the rules of the Paris Agreement: creating a workable framework beyond transparency

The UNFCCC has 24-years of experience of communications of national reports since their first submission. However, the author of this report, with 20-years experience of being involved in the review process, is concerned that the current system of pursuing transparency and completeness is not sufficient to promote the enhance­ment of countries’ domestic measures. The Report examined and analysed several schemes other than the UNFCCC and found that experience in Japan’s industrial sectors can be a good example of a similar type of voluntary-based scheme that has improved the validity of actions. These examples are Keidanren’s Voluntary Target and Action Plan, and the Energy Management System under the Energy Conservation Law. One of the characteristics of these schemes is to specify in detail, in their reporting templates, setting and monitoring of indicators to evaluate the effectiveness of actions, as well as the solution and progress assessment for the enhancement of the actions, so that report prepares can just fill in items in the templates. In other words, it is quite a rational process with more net benefit than burden. The Paris Agreement requires each Party to prepare and communicate its NDCs and national report biennially. This is quite a burdensome process but can provide an excellent “opportunity” for capacity building as well as for putting actions into the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA)-cycle. The Paris Agreement reporting and review systems should be designed with such awareness. Being aware of such opportunities, this Report organises and summarises good practice concepts for rule-making, formulating five objectives and eight means to realise them. The Report also proposes a method for progress assessment of achieving the NDC mitigation targets, which is simple and easy to understand with broad applica­bility for various types of targets.