National greenhouse gas inventory capacity: An assessment of Asian developing countries

In Environmental Science and Policy
Volume (Issue): 78
Peer-reviewed Article

The transparency framework of the Paris Agreement (PA) will be elaborated from the existing arrangements under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Yet, the capacities of developing countries to regularly report national GHG inventories vary, and their needs for capacity building are closely linked with efforts and achievements of previous inventory preparation. The purpose of this study was to analyze the status and changes in the capacity of 37 developing countries in Asia by using a matrix of capacity-indicators. Indicators were composed for four assessment categories: (1) international engagement of a country in the GHG inventory-related process; (2) institutional capacity to produce a GHG inventory; (3) existing technical capacity available to develop a GHG inventory; and (4) actual technical capacity applied to produce a GHG inventory. The paper also analyzed the scale of international support and variations in meeting with capacity building needs. Eleven countries were identified as having low capacity over time, while 9 improved their capacity. Seventeen countries, including 7 countries with established capacity, continuously had relatively high capacity
over time. International support was scarce in the majority of Asian developing countries with the most capacity building needs. Improvements in basic technical capacity available for GHG inventory preparation, such as statistics and the scientific expertise, were found to be a key necessity for countries to respond to the PA’s enhanced transparency framework. Based on these findings, the study recommended increasing support for improvements in basic technical capacity, especially in countries where existing capacity is low and support is limited. Such capacity building efforts are also beneficial for countries to form and implement nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and other economic and development policies.