Most developing countries are in the process of developing, implementing or enhancing their systems to measuring and reporting impacts of climate change actions. Measuring the progress and the impacts of National Determined Contributions (NDCs) is one of the key pillars under the Paris Agreement. However, international standards for the so called ‘Enhanced Transparency Framework’ are still under negotiation.

Top-down vs. Bottom-up

Different stakeholders may be involved in developing the different mitigation action specific Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) systems, without coordination. This bottom-up approach can lead to completely different MRV designs for different mitigation actions, even within the same sector, and especially between different sectors. However, the bottom-up approach offers the advantage of direct linking the MRV system to specific actions at the consumer or facility level.

A top-down approach to an MRV system design has the advantage of direct linkage to the goals defined in an NDC, and other national level planning. This approach allows for a broader overview of MRV governance. However, this approach requires a well-established institutional set-up and coordination of stakeholder groups involved at the various levels for MRV.

Linking both Approaches

The following themes highlight why good coordination of top-down and bottom-up approaches for developing linked MRV systems is important. These focus on positive synergies between the two approaches, benefits gained from combining them. These are some of the more prevalent themes witnessed by the authors during work with NDCs and NAMAs:

• Ensure inclusion and alignment of various levels of MRV
• Synergies of common data sources and methods & procedures
• Central data management system
• Benefits of a comprehensive stakeholder engagement
• Benefits of common or centralized coordination
• Integrating MRV Requirements|

It is important that the development of top-down or bottom-up MRV systems considers the different requirements, of international, domestic and mitigation action specific MRV systems. Only with this flexibility built in, is it possible to operate a functioning and cost-efficient MRV system which can address the various levels.

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Photo: Unsplash | Mathew Schwartz

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