Article 7: National Communications and the information to be contained in it

Article 12 of the FCCC states all parties should provide a national communications to the FCCC secretariat.

Article 7 of the KP says that Annex 1 parties must add the following information in their national communications:

  • The necessary supplementary information needed for ensuring compliance with the emissions reduction objectives set out in Article 3. This information will be incorporated in the annual inventory of anthropogenic emissions. This information will be provided annually beginning with the first year after the KP has entered into force.

  • The supplementary information necessary to demonstrate compliance with the commitments under the KP. This information will be provided regularly beginning with the first national communication after the KP has entered into force and the guidelines have been adopted. The MOP will determine the frequency of subsequent submission of this information.

MOP-I will adopt, and review periodically thereafter, guidelines for the preparation of the information required under this article of the KP, taking into account the guidelines issued for the preparation of national communications adopted by the COP.

The MOP will also decide the modalities for the accounting of assigned amounts prior to the first commitment period.

The information required under this Article will be particularly important in cases of JI projects and emissions trading.

Article 8: Expert Reviews of the information contained in the national communications
The information provided under Article 7 will be put through a review process by expert teams taking into account the decisions of COPs and guidelines adopted for this purpose by the MOP-1 and reviewed periodically thereafter by subsequent MOPs.

Information provided under Article 7.1 (see above) will be reviewed as part of the annual compilation and accounting of emissions inventories and assigned amounts.

Information provided under Article 7.2 (see above) will be reviewed as part of the review of national communications.

The review process will include a thorough and comprehensive technical assessment of all aspects of the implementation by each party to the KP. A report will be presented to the MOP assessing the implementation of the commitments of the Party, identifying potential problems in, and factors influencing, the fulfillment of commitments. Issues relating to implementation will be flagged by the secretariat and the MOP will deliberate on them. The MOP will also deliberate on:

  • the information provided by the parties under Article 7 and the reports of expert reviews; and,

  • any questions of implementation listed by the secretariat following the expert reviews as well as any questions raised by the parties.

In its deliberations, the MOP will seek the assistance of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and, if necessary, the SUBSTA.

Following the deliberations outlined above, the MOP will take decisions on any matter required for the implementation of the KP.

Article 9: Review of the Protocol
The MOPs will periodically review the KP in the light of best available scientific information and assessments on climate change and its impacts. These reviews will be coordinated with the reviews that will be undertaken by the COPs under Article 4.2(d) and 7.2(a) of the FCCC. The MOPs will take appropriate action following these reviews.

Article 4.2(d) of the FCCC provides for the review of the adequacy of commitments (not just the adequacy of implementation) under the FCCC. It says that CoP-I (which took place in Berlin in 1995) will review the adequacy of Article 4, subparagraphs 2(a) and 2(b), based on latest scientific evidence, and take appropriate action. CoP-I will also take decisions regarding the criteria for Joint Implementation as indicated in Article 4, paragraph 2(a) of the FCCC. A second review of the Article 4, sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) shall take place no later than December 31, 1998, and thereafter at regular intervals determined by the CoP, "until the objective of the Convention is met".

The first review undertaken by CoP-1 resulted in the Berlin Mandate which in turn resulted in the Kyoto Protocol. Now CoP-4, which is scheduled to meet in Buenos Aires, will undertake a second review of the adequacy of commitments and this review could open the door for the involvement of developing countries. If all the existing commitments are found inaquate to stabilise climatic change, then the obvious issue would be what increased commitments should be undertaken by developed countries and what new commitments should be undertaken by developing countries. It could be argued that developing countries need not take on reduction commitments as of now but they need to advance their actions and move towards ‘sustainable development’ by participating in the CDM or undertake voluntary commitments to undertake activities under Article 6 of the KP (which deal with project-based reductions) or Article 17 (which deal with emissions trading).

Article 7, paragraph 2(a) of the FCCC says that the CoPs must regularly review the implementation of the FCCC and any related legal instrument like the KP and take appropriate decisions that lie within their mandate. They will periodically examine "the obligations of the Parties" and the institutional arrangements under the FCCC, taking into account the objective of the FCCC and new scientific evidence.

Furthermore, Article 9 of the KP says that MOP-2 will undertake the first review of the KP and subsequent reviews will take place at regular and timely intervals.

Article 10: Activities and Cooperation needed to meet commitments of all parties, including developing countries

This article addresses all Annex 1 and non-Annex 1 nations and their activities, taking into account:

  • common but differentiated responsibilities of all countries and their specific national and regional development priorities, objectives and circumstances;

  • without introducing any new commitments for non-Annex I countries, but reaffirming their existing commitments under Article 4.1 of the FCCC, and continuing to advance the implementation of these commitments in order to achieve sustainable development, taking into account Article 4, paragraphs 3, 5 & 7 of the FCCC.

The nations will:

  • Develop cost-effective national and, where appropriate, regional programmes to improve the quality of local emission factors, activity data and/or models.

  • Formulate, implement, publish and regularly update national and, where appropriate, regional programmes containing measures to mitigate climate change and facilitate adequate adaptation which would concern energy, transport, industry, agriculture, forestry, waste management and spatial planning for adaptation.

While Annex 1 countries should submit information on their national programmes as required under Article 7 of the KP, non-Annex 1 nations should provide information on domestic actions which they believe address climate change and its adverse impacts.

All countries should cooperate to facilitate, promote and finance technology transfer, particularly to developing countries. Policies and programmes should be developed for the effective transfer of environmentally sound technologies that are "publicly owned or in the public domain." In the case of environmentally sound technologies that are owned by the private sector, the article calls for the creation of "an enabling promote and enhance the transfer."

This is an interesting difference made in the KP as the FCCC does not mention public or private domain. It only mentions the need for transfer of environmentally sound technologies.

The article also says that all countries should further cooperate in scientific and technical research and promote the maintenance and development of systematic observation systems and development of data archives to reduce uncertainties related to the climate system. They should also cooperate to develop and implement education and training programmes, including the strengthening of national human and institutional capacity building, for which suitable modalities will be developed by the relevant bodies of the FCCC.

All countries should include in their national communications whatever activities and programmes they have undertaken pursuant to this article. While implementing their commitments under this article, countries must ensure that they do not create adverse impacts for countries identified in Article 4, paragraph 8 of the FCCC.