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Book Chapter

Domestic Measurement, Reporting, and Verification

CEEW
February 2021 | Low-Carbon Pathways

Suggested citation: Council on Energy, Environment and Water. 2021. “Domestic Measurement, Reporting, and Verification” in India: Third Biennial Update Report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. New Delhi: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India.

Overview

This chapter in India’s Third Biennial Update Report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change captures and updates India’s actions in enhancing transparency and builds upon developments that have been reported in the previous Biennial Update Report (I and II) submissions. The operational design of measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) in India is implemented in a decentralised manner, with efforts distributed at multiple levels of governance. The governance framework in the country mainly adopts a 3-tier system for administering and monitoring policy schemes and actions as the flow of information involves a bottom-up approach with several tiers (local, sub-national and national) of standard reporting.

Key Highlights

  • Enhancing transparency and accountability by making information accessible through online web-portals/ digital dashboards has led to effective tracking of schemes’ performances across all States, on a single platform.
  • The Government of India (GoI) has developed numerous dashboards in related sectors such as power, transport, agriculture and forestry.
  • Building a robust national data repository system is essential for developing baselines and estimating accurate greenhouse gas (GHG) emission inventories.
  • India has developed a number of data repositories at various levels - sub-national and national - maintained by respective departments/ministries. For example, the National Power Portal developed by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) provides information on installed renewable capacity and its generation. The Open Government Data (OGD) India platform supports the open data initiative of the GoI.
  • The Bureau of Energy Efficiency has developed a robust monitoring & verification system for the Perform Achieve and Trade (PAT) scheme in order to assess the savings achieved by industries.
  • The Standards & Labelling programme, the national standards for emission and discharge of environmental pollutants for the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), and the Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework developed by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) under the Smart Cities Mission are key examples of some of the scheme-specific MRVs.
  • For such monitoring and evaluation mechanisms on a widespread scale, finance and additional support in the form of technology, infrastructure and capacity building is required.
  • MRV alone, however, is of insubstantial value if not accompanied by adequate climate action. Further reporting under the Enhanced Transparency Framework of the Paris Agreement will result in enhanced burdens on developing countries in terms of diversion of expenditure and highly skilled human resources from the needs of both development and real climate action.
  • MRV as a tool to promote good practices, learning, and increasing effort and ambition in mitigation will function only if developed countries go beyond their rhetorical insistence on MRV to its effective use for the stated purposes.

Intensification of MRV under the Paris Agreement can potentially draw attention away from actual climate action efforts unless there is finance, technology transfer and capacity-building support for the preparation of Biennial Transparency Reports by developing countries.

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