At the end of May, Róisín Moriarty (ERI, MaREI) travelled to Paris to take part in an UNFCCC in-country review of France’s 5th Biennial Report and 8th National Communication. She was part of an international Expert Review Team alongside experts from Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Romania, Canada, alongside two members of the UNFCCC Secretariat.
Every two years, developed counties, undergo a review of the climate reports they prepare for the UNFCCC (National Communications and Biennial Reports). This review is carried out by a team of international experts that verify the data and information provided in these reports. These reviews build trust and confidence in global climate action and the Review Report prepared by the Expert Review Team feeds into the first Global Stocktake that will take place as part of COP28.
Before gathering for the review week, the Expert Review Team undertakes a thorough review of both reports to ensure that the data and information presented is coherent and correct, through cross-referencing against the National Inventory Reports. Most importantly the reports are assessed against UNFCCC guidelines. During the review week the Expert Review Team work with the Party, in this case France, to assess the completeness and transparency of the reports.
Over the course of the week, the Expert Review Team asked questions and listened to the detailed responses of French experts. As the greenhouse gas projection expert, I was most interested in understanding how emission data, modelling and projections have been developed and the policies and measures that are being implemented to reduce emissions in France. As a team these discussions aided the understanding of how the Party have adhered to the UNFCCC reporting guidelines.
During the course of the week the Expert Review Team also met experts from outside government organisations to get a full picture of the effect of policies and measures related to mitigation and adaptation in France. This included French environmental NGOs and business organisations representing industry and farming. We also met with the Chair, Prof Corinne Le Quéré, of the Haut Conseil pour le Climat (High Council for Climate) the French equivalent of Ireland’s Climate Change Advisory Council, who gave valuable insights into the actions of the French government to tackle climate change.
Participating in such reviews is one way for experts and institutions, such as MaREI, ERI and UCC, from a developed country such as Ireland, can assist the UNFCCC review process and play a part in building trust and confidence in global climate action. It is also an excellent learning opportunity for Ireland to get an in-depth view of what policies and measures are being implemented in another EU country and to better understand the processes behind their development.
I would like to congratulate France on a successful review and give thanks to the members of the members of the French team Gwenaël Podesta, Auriane Bugnet, Maxime Roux and Yanis Chaigneau who hosted us at Tour Sequoia La Défense in Paris, the home of Ministère de la Transition écologique et de la Cohésion des territoires & the Ministère de la Transition énergétique for the week.
Finally, a heartfelt thank you to the Expert Review Team Kamal Djemouai (Algeria), Abdelrhani Boucham (Morocco), Akram Hamza (Tunisia), Geta Nicodim (Romania), Geoffrey Brouwer (Canada), Karin Simonson and Jeeyoon Jung (UNFCCC) for their expertise, generosity in sharing it, their good humour and professionalism in what is a tough but rewarding process – both for the individuals involved and for enhancing trust and confidence in global climate action.