National accounting systems to monitor the reduction contributions of Non-Annex I Parties

Project description

Title: Accounting rules to help Non-Annex I Parties meet their emission reduction targets
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) as part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI)
Country: Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica
Lead executing agency: Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID), Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT); Costa Rican Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE); Colombian Ministry of Environment (MADS)
Overall term: 2014 to 2017

National accounting systems to monitor the reduction contributions of Non-Annex I Parties. Software tool of accounting rules for meeting greenhouse gas reduction contributions © GIZ


Climate change poses one of the biggest threats to our planet. Under the Kyoto Protocol, which emerged from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, many industrialised countries agreed to reduce their emissions of harmful greenhouse gases. This group of countries, however, is only responsible for slightly more than 10 per cent of current global emissions. Major emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil and Mexico are increasingly among the top emitters of greenhouse gases. Under a new global climate agreement for the post-2020 period, all countries are to commit to binding reduction targets.


Mexico, Costa Rica and Colombia monitor and document their progress towards achieving national greenhouse gas reduction contributions on the basis of jointly formulated accounting rules. They make these rules available to the international community, among other things through the use of a software tool.


In contrast to the Kyoto Protocol, the new global climate agreement allows for measures other than absolute reduction contributions – for instance targets on the expansion of renewable energies or on achieving economic growth while cutting the level of carbon emissions. However, new accounting rules are required to ensure that the attainment of such targets can be tracked by the international community.

In March 2015, Mexico became the first non-industrialised country to submit its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to the United Nations, followed by Colombia and Costa Rica in September of the same year. GIZ is supporting these three Latin American countries in setting up a system to monitor progress in achieving the resulting national climate targets.

Compared to other emerging and developing economies, the three partner countries are at a very advanced stage in terms of their climate action efforts. Nevertheless, they have adopted different approaches. The project is working to develop the framework needed to enable their international commitment in this field to be tracked, taking into account the specific requirements of each country and international guidelines.

GIZ works together closely with the ministries and authorities responsible for climate change issues. It organises training courses, conducts studies and collects data. It is also developing a user-friendly software tool. Professional expertise for the project is provided by Öko-Institut, Germany’s Institute for Applied Ecology. The aim of the second stage of the project is to make the software tool and the rules and procedures prepared for the three countries available to the international community. To this end, access to the project findings is provided to professionals via portals and in working groups, for example at side events of UNFCC conferences and through the International Partnership on Mitigation and MRV.


On the basis of the project’s activities, accounting rules are to be taken into account as early as the formulation stage of INDCs in future. Guidelines have already been drawn up for various relevant areas, such as the land use sector, and with regard to preventing the double counting of certificates from carbon markets and the identification of climate investments.

In the three partner countries, various donors are actively involved in climate change mitigation and adaptation. For instance, the World Bank and the World Resources Institute are helping Costa Rica to define its INDCs. The project is providing technical support for this process and at the same time benefits from the experience of the other stakeholders. The project has been supporting South-South cooperation between Mexico, Colombia and Costa Rica, which – particularly with regard to sustainability – promises to deliver positive results after the project ends.