Transparent greenhouse gas emissions accounting is essential for monitoring global progress in the fight against climate change. While many countries are implementing ambitious mitigation actions, measuring and reporting of the greenhouse gas impacts of those actions within national inventories remains a persistent challenge.
Colombia is proactively tackling this challenge. The Government of Colombia has prioritized harmonizing its measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) systems and national inventory to ensure that its climate achievements are accurately reflected in its international reporting. Supporting these efforts, USAID’s Resources to Advance LEDS Implementation (RALI) project worked with the Colombian Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development and the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies to strengthen the country’s MRV systems over a 20-month engagement.
To support the harmonization of Colombia’s greenhouse gas accounting, RALI conducted an analysis of the methodologies, data and institutional processes used for conducting project-level MRV and for developing the national greenhouse gas inventory to understand the current state of greenhouse gas accounting in Colombia. To guide this process, RALI developed and applied the Greenhouse Gas MRV Harmonization Framework, a first-of-its kind framework designed to help practitioners ensure emission reductions are reflected in national greenhouse gas emission estimates.
RALI, in collaboration with the Institute, used this framework in Colombia to analyze and harmonize the greenhouse gas MRV associated with Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) in the livestock sector and with increasing renewable energy in the energy matrix. Through this analysis, RALI identified gaps and presented tangible recommendations for aligning the national greenhouse gas inventory with mitigation data and methodologies. The RALI team also developed guidance on applying the GHG MRV Harmonization Framework to other mitigation activities and sectors, which will be a reference for the Ministry and the Institute moving forward.
Concurrently, RALI’s technical team worked closely with stakeholders in Colombia to respond to the Government of Colombia’s need for a data management system that centralizes, institutionalizes and archives greenhouse gas data for the national inventory. Working closely with the Colombian government, the RALI team designed and prototyped a data management platform for the national inventory, known as the Sistema Nacional de Inventarios de Gases de Efecto Invernadero (“SINGEI”). SINGEI will support improved centralization and archiving of inputs and processes related to greenhouse gas inventory accounting. The platform is designed to integrate into Colombia’s existing IT infrastructure and business practices so that it can be adopted with minimal disruption; this approach adapts to existing user preferences and reduces risks to system adoption.
Robust stakeholder engagement was a key component of RALI’s collaboration with the government of Colombia. RALI worked with a range of stakeholders and development partners in Colombia to understand the current state of MRV for mitigation and inventory data for the two mitigation activities. Continuous consultation with the Institute’s IT team, their Global Change team, consultants, the Ministry, and other entities that submit inventory activity data was key throughout the development of the SINGEI platform. Notably, RALI collaborated with the government of Colombia to present on best practices and lessons learned to government representatives from other countries, both in the region and globally.
This collaboration between RALI and the government of Colombia has provided Colombia with the tools needed to strengthen its MRV systems while also providing a model for future engagement between countries and international partners looking to harmonize national inventory and mitigation MRV systems. The Government of Colombia will be continuing to apply the MRV Harmonization Approach for additional sectors in future efforts.
For more information:
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.