Transparency programme: supporting LDCs to negotiate and implement the enhanced transparency framework under the Paris Agreement

Began 2017

IIED is supporting the least developed countries (LDCs) to actively participate in the enhanced transparency framework for action and support as defined by the Paris Agreement. This new reporting and review process is key to build trust, track progress towards countries’ commitments and increase global ambition to stay below 1.5°C.

A large group of people pose for a photo

Participants to the least developed countries' strategy discussion on transparency in Paro, Bhutan in July 2018 (Photo: copyright Tshering Tashi/Environmental Commission of Bhutan)

As the window of opportunity to avoid the worst impacts of climate change narrows, increased collective ambition and bold transformative change are highly needed.

In 2015, the Paris Agreement established a new global target to limit warming to 1.5°C and set up the enhanced transparency framework (ETF), an enhanced transparency system to report and review countries’ progress towards that target as well as their adaptation and climate finance commitments, among others.

In 2018, the ETF was operationalised at COP24 through the approval of the modalities, procedures and guidelines (MPGs), which provides detailed guidance on reporting under the ETF. While recognising the special circumstances of the least developed countries LDCs, they establish a single set of rules for all countries – developed and developing alike.  

The ETF and the MPGs build on and ‘enhance’ the existing transparency arrangements with new and improved requirements. This more comprehensive framework will require extensive technical knowledge, solid institutional arrangements and sustained resources to implement.

This will prove challenging for LDCs, which face acute capacity constraints and lack of resources. Significant long-term support is therefore urgently needed to increase LDCs’ possibilities to fully implement the ETF.

What is IIED doing?

As part of IIED’s broader support to the LDCs in the UNFCCC process, we have been providing technical and strategic advice to the LDC Group throughout the process of negotiating the MPGs.

Strategic meetings and technical workshops in preparation for climate change conferences and related international events are a key component of this programme. Through these, and in partnership with the LDCs themselves, we seek to ensure that the Paris Agreement’s modalities and review processes are equitable, and their implementation is effective for LDCs.

As the Paris Agreement enters its implementation phase, we are also working to strengthen national level technical experts and policymakers’ knowledge and understanding of the ETF. Consistent with the bottom-up approach led by the Paris Agreement, capacity building events are part of this programme, designed to respond to the needs and priorities of LDCs seeking to support national implementation of the ETF.

Through these events and a variety of publications, we provide targeted support on the different ETF reporting components (including greenhouse gases inventories, nationally determined contributions, impacts and adaptation, and support received) and on the technical expert review process. 

IIED welcomes support for the next phase of this work. Email for more information.


Implementing the Paris Agreement: LDC gaps and needs in greenhouse gas inventory reporting, Anna Schulz, Fernanda Alcobé, Gebru Jember Endalew (2021), Issue paper

Meeting the enhanced transparency framework: what next for the LDCs?, Illari Aragon and Tshewang Dorji (2019), IIED Briefing

COP24: LDCs’ moment to shape an inclusive climate transparency framework, Illari Aragon and Tshewang Dorji (2018), IIED Briefing 

A guide to transparency under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, Achala Abeysinghe, Subhi Barakat, Yamide Dagnet, Gebru Jember Endalew, Bubu Pateh Jallow, Camilla H More, Tshewang Dorji, Cleo Verkuijl (2017), IIED Toolkit

Additional resources

Updating NDCs: useful guidance to support greater ambition, Illari Aragon, Fernanda Alcobé, Yamikani J.D. Idriss (2021), IIED Briefing

Webinar: What does the Paris Agreement’s transparency framework mean for LDCs? (2020)

Framing and tracking 21st century climate adaptation, Nick Brooks, Simon Anderson, Illari Aragon, Barry Smith, Tracy Kajumba, Emilie Beauchamp, Stefano D’Errico, Neha Rai (2019), IIED Working Paper

Pocket guide to transparency under the UNFCCC, Harro van Asselt, Romain Weikmans, J Timmons Roberts, Anju Sharma (2017), ECBI Pocketbook


Swedish Ministry of the Environment

UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy via the Climate Ambition Support Alliance (CASA) 

Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)

Irish Aid


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