The need for transparency is an essential to build global climate agreements that will be successful in checking rising global temperatures at below 2 degrees Celsius, and to ensure equity (CBDR-RC) and adequate support for countries respective to their needs. The COP21 negotiations has risen to the occasion and given the world a climate agreement, which if adhered to will equip developing nations to deal with its climate change threats.
An equally important climate agreement was signed in Bali, at COP13. It was there that Measurement, Reporting and Verification or MRV was first coined and quickly became the building block of transparency in climate action. MRV demarcates the essential constituents of a successful international climate strategy to be measurement or GHG accounting and reporting. MRV involves collecting data of emissions, mitigation activities, resilience building etc. and collating them into a report or inventory which is then submitted for review to an international committee. Developing nations address the ‘Reporting’ aspect of MRV, within their national communications to the UNFCC, a part of which forms the Biennial Update Report or BUR. These BURs contain updates on the national greenhouse gas inventories, national inventory report, mitigation activities, as well as support needed and received.
India recently submitted its first BUR, prepared by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change under its NATCOM project funded by Global Environment Facility (GEF) through UNDP. The BUR is segmented with sections on institutional arrangements for reporting processes, domestic arrangements of MRV and voluntary measures. The India GHG Program has got formal policy recognition by getting acknowledged in the BUR, within Chapter 6, page 135 as the key voluntary industry led initiative to support country specific emission factor development and supporting corporate inventories (link).
“The impact of climate change on our businesses if left unaddressed can be disruptive to the economy. The announcement of the India GHG Program in India’s BUR has brought attention to the private sector’s role in curbing greenhouse gas emissions. We believe the business community is a critical actor in driving low carbon growth in India,” commented Nitin Pandit, CEO, World Resources Institute India on the need for voluntary emission management program for the corporate sector.
Recognition of the programme’s work in developing - sector specific tools, analyses and publications is a strong indication to businesses of the rapidly developing climate leadership in India and the need to become an active part of such leadership. The programme is currently working on Carbon Pricing and Climate Finance with policy makers and industry leaders in a bid to inform policy as well as identify gaps which can be bridged by the programme.
The programme is confident that more organizations will come on board. Ultratech Cement Ltd, Mahindra and Mahindra, and Arvind Ltd are the newest members of the programme bringing the total members to 44. According to Nitin Pandit, “The programme is setting the stage for bolder climate actions in the coming years.”