Evidence Base & Transparency

Building Climate Data and Information Platforms, including Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) Systems, and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory Systems

UNDP Moldova | Measuring in MoldovaUNDP Moldova | Measuring in Moldova

Measuring Emission Reductions

Collective reporting on progress in emission reduction for the Paris agreements Agreement is expected to further heighten transparency and momentum.

As countries embark on transitioning to climate-resilient, low emission economies, they need to ensure that climate actions can be measured and tracked.  As part of this effort, robust systems for measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) and a national GHG inventory need to be developed.

After all, you can’t measure and manage what you can’t count. 

Thus far, a country’s emission profile has been primarily reported through other tools such as UNFCCC’s Bi-annual Update Report (BURs) and National Communications. MRV and GHG Inventory systems - many of them digitized - feed into these reports, and thus help governments to meet their international reporting requirements under the UNFCCC including the regular submission of biennial update reports (BURs) and the Paris Agreement.


Why we need Climate Data and Information Systems:

  • Having a sound information base is critical in designing and prioritizing climate measures on the one hand, and optimizing their effectiveness on the other.

  • A properly designed and implemented MRV system adds transparency to mitigation efforts and is an important management tool.

  • Showing the positive impact of climate measures on emission reduction can help countries attract funding from domestic and international sources.

  • MRVS track impacts of specific mitigation actions in one or more sector to assess progress towards national development goals and climate targets.

  • GHG Inventories aim at capturing emissions and reductions from all human activities, spanning all economic sectors in a given country or district.


Systems for Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV)

MRV systems are best designed along with mitigation actions, such as Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) or Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs).

If a country is seeking external financial, technical or capacity-building support, the project will be subject to international MRV as described in the Cancun Accords. MRV needs will differ depending on the sector for which the mitigation action is undertaken. 

The establishment of MRV systems often builds on the work already undertaken for the National Communications process, sub-national GHG inventories or indicators developed for GEF-financed projects.


Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory Systems

While MRV systems are typically designed to track emissions for a particular activity, GHG Inventory systems aim at capturing emissions and reductions from all human activities, spanning all economic sectors in the country or district.

Compiling accurate and complete GHG Inventories is a challenging process. GHG Inventory systems create a framework for documenting the procedures and processes involved in emission tracking, ensuring that data, information, and assumptions are appropriately reported and archived. Robust national inventory systems also include quality assurance measures and introduce mechanisms for institutionalizing periodic reporting of necessary data.



Relevant Publications