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Transparency is vital for the Paris Agreement to succeed – ICAT at COP28

27 December 2023

The first global stocktake – an assessment of the collective progress towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement – reconfirmed the need for urgent action at the recently concluded COP28. Despite overall progress, the world is not yet on track towards achieving the purpose and long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. Global greenhouse gas emissions targets are significantly off-target, and notable gaps still exist in adaptation efforts and support to developing countries. The message is clear: countries must urgently strengthen ambition and scale up climate action.

The Paris Agreement remains the only functioning mechanism to address climate change on a global scale. As the backbone of the Paris Agreement, transparency is essential for its success. This was ICAT’s key message for COP28. Transparency efforts need to be further enhanced and support scaled up. The decision on the global stocktake recognized the critical importance of transparency and the need for full implementation of the Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF) under the Paris Agreement. It also recognized the crucial role of increased support to developing countries as they strive to implement the ETF effectively.

With a track record of supporting over fifty developing countries to strengthen their transparency frameworks for effective climate action, ICAT seized the opportunity presented by COP28 to showcase and champion the value and power of transparency to  drive climate action. The events and meetings held helped to raise awareness of the importance of transparency, showcase achievements and lessons learned and share best practices on how to enhance transparency. 

Transparency is a catalyst for meaningful climate action encompassing every sphere and facet of climate efforts, including  mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, climate finance and just transitions. It is crucial for tracking progress, evaluating results, correcting the course when needed, mobilizing resources and using them wisely. Tailored approaches are needed to address the unique challenges posed in each county’s context, particularly so for adaptation. Transitioning to a low-carbon, resilient future requires a transformational change of the world’s economies, with safeguards for the protection of those most vulnerable to the effects of this transition. All this must be supported by transparency frameworks to provide the necessary data and information for evidence-based decisions on climate policies and measures. 

Developing countries, from small island nations to big emerging economies, are realizing significant progress, harnessing the power of transparency to move their climate efforts forward. Several success stories were highlighted during ICAT hosted and co-hosted events at COP28, sharing inspiration for climate action. Central Asian countries have made substantial progress in bolstering their climate transparency frameworks, paving the way for successful implementation of their NDCs. Nigeria and South Africa are taking a leading role in developing just transition transparency frameworks that prioritize wide stakeholder engagement, to ensure that no one is left behind in their transition to a green economy. Belize and Senegal are embracing climate finance transparency to mobilize funds for climate action and channel these in the right direction to address mitigation, adaptation, and loss and damage. 

While gaps and challenges persist, ICAT’s partners showed the steadfast dedication of developing countries to upholding their commitments under the Paris Agreement and the inspiring force of transparency for driving climate action forward. 

In this document you will find a summary of ICAT’s activities during the COP28. For more information about any of the events, activities or the tools and methodologies referred to below, please explore the ICAT website or contact the ICAT Secretariat.