The UNFCCC secretariat is stepping up its support to developing countries transparently reporting their climate actions by extending and expanding the reach of e-learning courses to train more technical experts to provide the necessary support. Transparency of reporting under the Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF) is a central pillar of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
Most developing countries currently don’t have the necessary technical knowledge and experience to properly implement the 2006 IPCC Guidelines of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories (2006 IPCC Guidelines). With submissions of the first biennial transparency report under the Paris Agreement rapidly approaching – December 2024 at the latest – there is an urgent need to prepare developing countries to transition to full implementation of the ETF.
In collaboration with the GHG Management Institute (GHG-MI), the UNFCCC secretariat, through its GHG Support Unit, began providing access to the GHG-MI e-learning and certification programme on the 2006 IPCC Guidelines last year. The main objective was to increase developing countries’ capacity to prepare and manage their national GHG inventories as a basis for effective implementation of the ETF by increasing the pool of certified GHG inventory experts. This process has led to an unprecedented number of new registrations of experts from developing countries on the UNFCCC Roster of Experts (RoE).
Selection and training of technical experts
Once a year, the secretariat invites all developing countries to nominate at least two experts to be enrolled in the e-learning and certification programme. The courses are currently available in English and French and will also be available in Spanish next year.
All participants are required to start the programme with the course on Introduction to Cross-Cutting Issues. Each participant must then select one sector-specific e-course, such as Energy, Industrial Processes and Other Product Use (IPPU), Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Uses (AFOLU), and Waste. To become certified jointly by the GHG-MI and the UNFCCC secretariat, a participant must take two mandatory exams (cross-cutting and sector-specific) and receive a mark of 70% or higher for each. Participants have two attempts to pass each exam, and the programme is made available to them for a period of six months.
The first round of this e-learning and certification programme organized and supported by the UNFCCC secretariat with funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency took place from October 2019 to April 2020, with 754 nominations in 97 countries across all regions. A total of 311 experts received a certification for the sector of their choice. For the second round of this programme, which began in September 2020 and will end in February 2021, 317 nominations from 100 countries were received.
All experts involved in this training programme will also be registered with the UNFCCC RoE, allowing them to take further specialized training and certification courses to support various processes under the Convention and the Paris Agreement.
The GHG Support Unit will continue to offer this programme to all developing countries in the coming years to increase the pool of certified GHG inventory experts required to develop and submit transparent national GHG inventory reports regularly.