New Delhi: India has started preparing for the next round of climate change negotiations on the issue of measuring, reporting and verifying (MRV) actions taken to reduce carbon emissions.
An informal group of bureaucrats and experts will soon look at the various MRV options available. The next round of talks are scheduled to begin in June in Bonn, Germany.
Past negotiations on these aspects have been contentious, with developed and developing nations taking differing views. The US has been in favour of international oversight on MRV actions but India and China have opposed scrutiny of domestic activities.
Anand Patwardhan, part of India’s negotiating team and a professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, said discussions have been held to devise guidelines and processes to put MRV into practice, though a formal committee has not been finalized.
The Copenhagen Accord signed in December said emission reductions for developed countries will be measured, reported and verified according to guidelines that are yet to be established, and mitigation activities by developing nations will be subject to domestic MRV reported through national communications and international consultation and analysis.
Emerging economies such as India submit national communiques—essentially greenhouse gas emissions inventories and vulnerabilities—to the United Nations, but these are not subject to review.
Besides Patwardhan, other officials slated to start working on MRV are Prodipto Ghosh, former environment secretary, and Subodh K. Sharma, national project director for national communications to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Ghosh said some of the dangers of MRV lie in adequacy tests for domestic carbon reduction actions. “Second guessing of our national plans set by the Prime Minister will not be acceptable,” he said. “For instance, a plant by plant inspection carries a danger of creating an international database and benchmarks in an international registry.”
Patwardhan said there can be many processes. “Some of the ideas are to have a system standard such as ISO (International Organization for Standardization). Similarly, we could have a climate management system.