In climate governance, transparency, understood as disclosure of information, is widely assumed to inform, empower, and help improve climate actions. Such effects are now posited, as well, for the Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF) of the recently concluded Paris Agreement. The goal of the ETF is to track progress and promote effective implementation of the Agreement, and build trust among countries through mutual disclosure of climate actions. The eventual effectiveness of the ETF will depend on lessons learnt from current implementation of climate transparency through Measuring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) systems. While current MRV systems in place are differentiated in terms of scope and practice between developed and developing countries, they will be homogenised under the Paris Agreement for the post-2020 period. This highlights the need to understand the effectiveness of current MRV systems in leading to enhanced climate action.
This research aims to explore the effects of MRV to inform, empower and eventually improve developing country capacities to institute more ambitious and adequate climate action. It analyses three transparency mechanisms under the global climate regime: (1) domestic MRV systems; (2) international consultation and analysis conducted under the auspices of UNFCCC; and (3) MRV systems underpinning project-based activities. These mechanisms, and their functioning, will be analysed using reflexive capacity framework to trace causal process between MRV and climate action. The findings will contribute to theoretical and empirical understanding of the transformative potential of a post-2020 Enhanced Transparency Framework under the Paris Agreement.