Paddy field in Vietnam
Vietnam is one of three participants in the development program 'Information Matters'


Tools make it easier for developing countries to prepare climate accounts

With the help of the ’Information Matters’ programme, Georgia, Colombia and Vietnam hope to improve their climate reporting to the UN.

A lack of environmental knowledge, specialists and systems makes it difficult for Georgia, Colombia and Vietnam to monitor and report to the UN on their annual greenhouse gas emissions.

By means of a number of workshops, the ’Information Matters’ development programme show the countries what to do to comply with the UN standards for climate reporting. The development organisation German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) has hired NIRAS as their adviser for the second phase of the programme.

More knowledge and better organising

Chile, the Dominican Republic, Ghana and the Philippines have already completed the first phase of the project, and the time has now come for the three other countries to follow.

The purpose of ’Information Matters’ is to enable the developing countries to work with data and statistics in the same way as the West when recording entries in their climate accounts.

By means of a number of workshops, public officials and other stakeholders in the countries in question are taught what to do to comply with the UN standards for climate reporting.

NIRAS consultants help the countries improve their organisational structures and increase their knowledge. The intention is that in future the countries should be able to stand on their own two feet when the UN organisation UNFCCC calls for the annual climate report.

Tools designed to help the countries

In connection with the different workshops, which NIRAS organises for the countries, a number of guides and knowledge products have also been developed.

One such product is a description of the positive effects that the countries can derive from establishing a transparent climate reporting system. Many of the countries have limited knowledge about why it is important to monitor and report. This product will introduce a number of incentives to encourage the countries to do better. One of the benefits of improved monitoring is that it will be easier for the countries to see whether they meet the UN's 17 sustainability goals. 

The developing countries must learn to work with data and statistics in the same way as the West

NIRAS has also developed a guide that explains how the countries should compose the technical teams that will be given the job of calculating the countries’ greenhouse gas emissions. A range of technical skills are required to calculate these emissions. It is therefore important that the teams have the right competences if they are to succeed in establishing a well-functioning reporting system. So far, NIRAS has developed four internationally recognised knowledge products and tools.

A focus on reduced emissions

The advice given to the three countries does not only focus on optimising their CO2 reporting. It also involves planning how the country can reduce its CO2 emissions in the future.

In addition to the three countries that are in the second phase of the programme, NIRAS has also given advice about CO2 reporting to Malaysia and Kyrgyzstan, after they asked for help in connection with ’Information Matters’.

The second phase of ’Information Matters’ concludes in 2017.

Project Director at NIRAS Morten Pedersen moderates a workshop in Kyrgyzstan.