The US on Tuesday agreed to allow verification of supported voluntary domestic mitigation actions under the United Nations framework, in a major victory for India.
The US had so far been insisting on the measurement, review and verification (MRV) regime outside the UN system under the World Bank or International Monetary Fund.
India had been considered soft towards the US on MRV. Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh had repeatedly been questioned in Parliament by the CPM and BJP for allowing international verification of domestic mitigation actions.
<b1>A huge step forward was taken at a meeting on MRV on Tuesday. The US, which has been asking for a stringent MRV regime for India and China, agreed to put the system under the UN’s subsidiary group on implementation (SBI). The SBI can have a panel of experts to review and analyse the domestic mitigation actions of developing countries, the US said, supported by Europe, Australia and Japan.
“We have no problem,” said an Indian negotiator, who described the US stand as an “improved position”.
“But, the panel should consist of experts representing all major blocks in the UN climate talks to ensure transparency and fairness.”
There was an agreement that periodicity of national communications on domestic mitigation actions to the UN should be two years. While the domestic mitigation actions supported by international finance would be subject to international verification, the unsupported actions would not be available for review.
The UN group on implementation of mitigation actions will draft rules on the MRV process.
There was consensus on review mechanism following India’s submission that Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) supported by international finance, should be recorded in a registry along with relevant technology, finance and capacity building and subject to international MRV as per new UN rules.
“Domestic mitigation actions that are not supported by finance and technology under UN climate convention will be subject to only domestic arrangement of their MRV,” India said in its submission. For India, domestic MRV means submitting a report to the Parliament on regular basis.
India also rejected the demand of rich nations to put low carbon strategy under the international verification system, saying that the low carbon strategy was not part of international mechanisms of funding the NAMAs because it was a “national and autonomous” exercise.
India in July will outline its low carbon growth strategy to meet its commitment for reduction of emission intensity.
Speaking on behalf of the developing world, India said mitigation actions were voluntary in nature and should be taken in the context of sustainable development.