Groups gathered in a conference room look at a wall projection on the RALI Hamonization Framework.
Session on the MRV Harmonization Framework at the Latin American and Caribbean LEDs regional meeting in Mexico.

The RALI GHG MRV Harmonization Framework

A how-to guide for harmonizing greenhouse gas mitigation project accounting and national inventories
By Marian Van Pelt

Many countries around the world have set ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As a result, those countries are now pursuing a breadth of mitigation actions across sectors and at all scales, from local projects to national policies. These developments make it more important than ever that countries not only identify methods to measure the impacts of their mitigation activities, but also that they capture those impacts in their national inventories to improve the accuracy of their GHG reporting.

Because measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) methods often vary across activities and differ from the methods used in national inventories, aligning GHG accounting can be a significant challenge for climate change practitioners. To address this challenge, the USAID Resources to Advance LEDS Implementation (RALI) team developed a first-of-its kind harmonization approach, called the RALI GHG MRV Harmonization Framework, to help practitioners align bottom-up mitigation activities with top-down national inventories.


The six-step GHG Harmonization Framework, visualized as a horizontal linear process.
The RALI GHG MRV Harmonization Framework

Now, a new guide developed by the RALI team provides a “turn-key” approach for national inventory teams, mitigation activity implementers, and other climate change practitioners. The purpose of the guide is to allow countries to successfully apply the Harmonization Framework and continuously improve their GHG accounting. As a complement to this general guide, the RALI team will soon release specific instructions on how to apply the Harmonization Framework to mitigation activities within the Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Use (AFOLU) and Energy sectors.


Chart representing the difference that the GHG Harmonization Framework can make if it is applied to capture the full extent of a country's mitigation activities.
If national inventories do not reflect the full extent of mitigation activities, national emission trajectories may not demonstrate progress toward a country’s NDC target.

By enhancing the ability of countries to transparently and accurately document their GHG emissions, application of the Harmonization Framework can also support access to additional financing for mitigation activities and enable decision-makers to prioritize mitigation investments.

The RALI team has already used the Harmonization Framework to support global improvement efforts in greenhouse gas measurement, reporting, and verification. Between December 2016 and July 2018, the RALI team worked in close collaboration with the Government of Colombia (GoC) to harmonize the country’s MRV systems. RALI team members have also presented the MRV Harmonization Framework at numerous events, including the Global NDC Conference in Bonn, Germany; the Latin American and Caribbean LEDS (LAC LEDS) regional meeting in Mexico City, Mexico; the Pacific Alliance MRV Working Group meeting in Santiago, Chile, and at the Conference of Parties (COP23) in Bonn, Germany.

For more information:

Harmonizing Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Project Accounting and National Inventories

Strengthening Greenhouse Gas MRV Systems in Colombia: A RALI Stakeholder Engagement Case Study

Harmonizing greenhouse gas accounting for NDC tracking: Webinar and related resources

Strategic Objective
Emissions, Mitigation, Monitoring and Evaluation, Partnership

Marian Van Pelt

Marian Van Pelt is a Vice President at ICF, a global professional services firm that delivers consulting services and technology solutions in energy, climate change, and other areas. Marian currently leads ICF’s climate, energy efficiency, and transportation line of business. Nominated by the United States to the UNFCCC's Roster of Experts, Marian is an internationally recognized expert in greenhouse gas emission inventories. She is working to support low emission development strategies through designing tools and training to quantify emissions and develop and track the impact of clean energy and other reduction policies. A key focus area of her portfolio is to help increase the transparency of greenhouse gas reduction commitments and nationally determined contributions.

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