Ensuring national greenhouse gas mitigation plans and commitments are 'measurable, reportable and verifiable' (MRV) as set out in the Bali Action Plan is vital to the successful implementation of an emerging post-2012 global climate deal. Whatever the specific actions agreed at Copenhagen, rigorous monitoring and accounting of emissions will be essential if future mitigation activities are to be deemed credible and effective. Finance and technology transfer from developed countries may also be subject to MRV and the extent to which this support is forthcoming is likely to depend on whether actions by developing countries are 'MRV-able'.
This discussion paper sets out the key issues in the current MRV debate and the challenges facing national environmental regulators in their contribution to the collection, reporting and validation of emissions data. It argues that regulatory authorities - whether government departments or semi independent statutory agencies - can support each other in building common standards for reporting and in ensuring robust and comparable data is available. It also suggests that greater transfer of resources is required to build solid MRV capacity for emissions limitation measures in developing countries.
Through their contribution to the implementation, monitoring and oversight of mitigation activities, regulators play a crucial role in climate change policy domestically. The authors suggest that the work of regulators can set a benchmark for future international regulatory action on climate change and help build much needed trust and cooperation between actors in a post-2012 global climate regime.
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