Negotiating a Low Carbon Transition in Asia: NAMAs and MRV

Policy Report

Being the two most populous and rapidly growing economies, China and India will have significant role in the global efforts towards climate change mitigation. Indeed, both countries are making various efforts to control their rapidly growing greenhouse gas emissions and energy use in line with their national developmental priorities. Simultaneously, there are international efforts to make developing countries’ mitigation actions more effective, transparent and accountable. The Cancun Agreements provide an overall framework for measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) of nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) undertaken by developing countries. Specific modalities and guidelines will be discussed and hopefully determined in the upcoming negotiations leading up to the seventeenth Conference of Parties (COP17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December 2011. Thus, it is critical time for international climate negotiations to establish an effective regime to mitigate climate change.

This report is a small step in the direction of improving our understanding of domestic mitigation actions and MRV systems in developing countries, so as better to comprehend the ways in which NAMAs and MRV procedures could be designed at the both domestic and international levels. While domestic mitigation actions and MRV systems have been evolving from specific national circumstances, they were also influenced by developments in the international climate regime. On the other hand, any attempts to design international institutions to promote NAMAs and MRV systems without adequate understanding of what is going on the ground are bound to a failure, because actual implementation will occur at the domestic level. By looking at the two key developing countries, China and India, this volume aims at bridging the gap in understanding of domestic and international efforts.

The report is divided into two Parts. The first, comprising one chapter, puts the issues of NAMAs and MRV into context by looking at relevant institutional developments in the international climate regime1. The second part, consisting of four chapters, addresses country case studies of China and India. The chapters in Part Two provide assessment of mitigation pledges, as well as explore domestic reasons for taking actions against climate change and improving domestic MRV systems.