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Key Components of an Open Climate-Relevant Data System
National governments collect and report a wide range of climate-relevant information, as required by the UNFCCC. Much of this information is publicly available on the UNFCCC website through the various reporting mechanisms used by countries, including National Communications, National Inventory Reports (developed countries), Biennial Reports (BRs, developed countries), Biennial Update Reports (BURs, developing countries), and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Starting from an understanding of what national governments have committed to report to the UNFCCC should help prioritize the disclosure of different types of data.
Reporting under the UNFCCC is quite expensive and complex and can place a significant burden on the agencies responsible for preparing the submissions. Therefore, it is crucial to think carefully about how an open data initiative can align with existing data collection and reporting efforts, so as to avoid duplication.
Nevertheless, domestic transparency systems do have an important role to play in making information available to a wider range of domestic stakeholders, for a wider set of uses. Furthermore, well-designed domestic transparency systems can strengthen information flows across government agencies, levels of government, civil society, and the private sector and help build the capacity of various actors to use this information. These functions have gained attention as a result of the Paris Agreement’s commitment to an enhanced transparency framework and the greater role it gave to non-state actors.
The table below presents a brief summary of the information that countries are required to report to the UNFCCC under the current regime. It is intended to help users of this guide consider whether key data for their particular use case may already be available or whether access to these data could be enhanced.
At COP 24 in Katowice, Poland, parties agreed to provide additional accounting details on how they are assessing progress and agreed to a common set of guidelines to report and review their progress every two years.
Prior to the adoption of the Paris Rulebook, countries were required to report the following. When the rulebook goes into effect in 2024, reporting obligations will be the same for developed and developing countries with the exception if information provided on finance. Donor countries are expected to provide information of support provided and developing countries on support needed and received.
Countries are currently committed to report: