Transparency is what states make of it: whose climate priorities are reflected in the Paris Agreement’s enhanced transparency framework?

Max van Deursen*, Aarti Gupta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this article, we examine the contestations and compromises that underpin the Paris Agreement’s enhanced transparency framework, with the aim to analyze whose climate action priorities are reflected in these arrangements. Key mandatory obligations of the transparency framework relate to submission of greenhouse gas inventories and reporting and review of mitigation-related climate actions. Less analyzed are the non-mitigation focused transparency provisions, particularly those relating to adaptation, loss and damage and financial support, all of which are of key importance to developing countries. We address this research gap here by unpacking what different groups of countries desired with regard to these less examined aspects of the enhanced transparency framework, in the lead-up to finanalization of the Paris Agreement in 2015, and the nature of the political compromises reached on each. Furthermore, we analyze how these agreed transparency provisions are being operationalized since 2015. We find that many of the compromises reached on the scope of the enhanced transparency framework, but perhaps even more so in its subsequent operationalization, marginalize certain aspects of reporting and review that are of the highest priority to developing countries. These include, for example, reporting on adaptation needs, on having voluntary information on loss and damage be reviewed by international experts, and having access to comparable and actionable reporting on support provided by developed countries. This highlights the need for future research to assess the domestic consequences of engaging in global climate transparency arrangements for developing countries; and whether and how such engagement aligns with domestic priorities.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClimate Policy
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Apr 2024


  • adaptation
  • climate finance
  • Enhanced transparency framework
  • loss and damage
  • Paris Agreement; United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

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