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What is a biennial report

what is a biennial report

The COP, by decision 1/CP.16, decided that developed country Parties should enhance reporting in national communications and submit biennial reports, which outline progress in achieving emission reductions and the provision of financial, technology and capacity-building support to non-Annex I Parties, building on existing reporting and review guidelines, processes and experiences. Decision 1/CP.16 also established a new process, international assessment and review (IAR), under the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) for developed country Parties that aims to promote the comparability of efforts among all developed country Parties with regard to their quantified economy-wide emission limitation and reduction targets <<more>>. The detailed guidelines for the preparation of BRs contained in annex I to decision 2/CP.17 were adopted by COP 17 in Durban.

Reporting of biennial reports

Following provisions of decision 2/CP.17 developed country Parties were requested to submit their first biennial report (BR1) to the secretariat by 1 January 2014 and the second and subsequent BR two years after the due date of a full NC (i.e. 2016, 2020). They have two options to report information in the BR1: Parties could present the BR1 as an annex to the national communication (NC) or as a separate report.

In response to request for guidance on reporting of NC and BR by a number of Parties the secretariat has analysed the information which is required to be presented in the BR and NC, identified the areas of overlaps and suggested an approach as to how these overlaps could be avoided.

The presentation (175 kB) provides a summary of the analysis conducted by the secretariat and presented at the 10 th lead reviewers meeting held in Bonn, Germany, 18-21 March 2013. It provides a view by the secretariat on the possible approach to report NC6 and BR1 and is not a formal guidance or recommendation. It is up to a Party to decide if it will report NC6 and BR1 as two separate reports or BR1 as an annex to NC6 and which option and approach it may take to deal with areas of overlapping information.

When a Party choose to present its BR as an annex to the NC, it may choose to avoid duplication of information on similar topics by following two approaches: (1) detailed reporting of the information on the similar topics in the NC, and cross-referencing to summary of this information in the BR or (2) provision of summary information on such similar topics in the NC and cross-referencing to detailed information being provided in the BR. Notwithstanding the differences in these two approaches, the BR when presented as an annex to the NC, should be possible to be read as a stand-alone document and should meet all requirements of the UNFCCC biennial reporting guidelines for developed country Parties (Annex, decision 2/CP.17).

When a Party chooses to report the BR and the NC as separate reports, the reader- friendliness could be enhanced by indicating which parts are similar in both reports.

In any case, provision of complete, transparent, accurate, comparable and consistent information in the BR and the common tabular format is an essential reporting requirement.

Biennial reporting common tabular format (BR CTF) application

The Conference of the Parties, in decision 19/CP.18, requested the UNFCCC secretariat to develop a test version of an electronic reporting application for the common tabular format (BR CTF) for developed country Parties, by May 2013 and to finalize the development by July 2013.

The BR CTF application has been released on 22 July 2013, for use by Parties to report their common tabular formats of biennial reports.

The advanced version of the application which allows compilers to import data from excel to BR CTF tables 2-9 was released on 18 October 2013. The user manual is available on the landing page of the BR CTF application Noted issues are being fixed on a regular basis. Currently, the BR CTF has over 200 users from 43 Parties and is supported by the secretariat's help desk at.

Technical Reviews

As outlined in annex II of decision 2/CP.17, the IAR process will include a technical review of biennial reports, where relevant in conjunction with the annual greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories, and national communications of developed country Parties, which will result in an individual review report for each developed country Party. When the biennial reports are submitted in the same year as the national communications, the reviews are conducted in conjunction, in-country. When biennial reports are not submitted in the same years as the national communications, the reviews are conducted through centralized reviews. The technical reviews are conducted by an international team of experts from Annex I and non-Annex I Parties, selected from the Roster of Experts.

The UNFCCC secretariat invited lead reviewers to share their experiences in review of the NCs and BRs at the First and Second Meeting of Lead Reviewers for the review of Biennial Reports and National Communications of Annex I Parties in March 2014 and March 2015, respectively.

BR and NC lead reviewers meetings

In accordance with the “Guidelines for the technical review of information reported under the Convention related to greenhouse gas inventories, biennial reports and national communications by Parties included in Annex I to the Convention” included in annex to decision 23/CP.19, the secretariat shall facilitate annual meetings of the lead reviewers (LRs) for greenhouse gas inventories, biennial reports and national communication. The outcomes of the lead reviewers meetings should facilitate the work of the LRs in fulfilling their task to ensure consistency in the reviews across the Parties. LRs shall collectively prepare an annual report to the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice containing suggestions on how to improve the quality, efficiency and consistency of the reviews.

The first LRs meeting was organized in 2014 following by the second LRs meeting in 2015. The conclusions of these meetings are presented through the following links:

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