South African Approaches to MRV of Mitigation Actions: The Case of Installing Solar Water Heaters

"So-called ‘mitigation actions’ (MA) are actions and processes, which aim at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The term has become core to the international climate change negotiations, as the main instrument to induce emissions reductions in developing countries. The negotiations coined the term ‘nationally appropriate mitigation actions’(NAMA) in 2007, which comprises that developing countries can expect support from developed countries for implementing actions to reduce emission. In return, developing countries need to prove the impacts of their actions. Actions need to be ‘measurable, reportable and verifiable’ (MRV) says the convention’s text in the Bali Action Plan (BAP 2007). However, the substance of reporting requirements for developing countries’ actions has been subject to the negotiation for the last five years without any clear results. This case study provides some insights on the current practice on how mitigation policy is monitored in South Africa. South Africa has a number of policies in place for renewable energy and energy efficiency. However, the government has not registered any official NAMAs through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by the end of 2012. The main incentive system for renewable energy is the recent independent power producer procurement program (REIPPPP), which is implemented since November last year. The program is too recent to assess the MRV system yet. For this reason, we chose the roll out of solar water heating systems (SWH), because it is South Africa’s most advanced ‘mitigation actions’ at the moment."