The secretariat to the UNFCCC supports cooperative action by States to combat climate change and its impact on humanity and ecosystems. The secretariat was created in 1992. It is committed to:
- Making a contribution to sustainable development through support for action to mitigate and to adapt to climate change at the global, regional and national level;
- Providing support to the intergovernmental process in the context of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol;
- creating and maintaining necessary conditions for an effective and efficient implementation of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol;
- Providing and disseminating information and data on climate change and on efforts to address it; and
- Promoting and enhancing the active engagement of non-governmental organisations , business and industry, the scientific community and other relevant stakeholders in the intergovernmental climate change processes.
The secretariat comprises numerous programmes. The reporting, data and analysis programme (RDA) has a pivotal role in:
- Supporting the intergovernmental negotiations on matters relating to national communications, inventories, assigned amounts, registry systems and policy instruments;
- Providing Parties with accurate and comprehensive information on historical and projected greenhouse gas (GHG), supported by analyses of national activities relating to climate change and relevant policy instruments;
- Ensuring consistent and rigorous application of the guidelines for reporting and review of national communications, GHG inventories, assigned amount information and data on transactions in the framework of market-based mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol;
- Administrating the development and operation of the International Transaction Log and related systems; and
- Assisting Parties in the implementation and operation of their registry systems.
The secretariat is not an energy data provider but instead a data user. Annex I Parties to the Convention submit inventories of GHG emissions to the secretariat annually that include data and information on energy use. This information is submitted using a common reporting format (CRF) table where Parties report fuel consumption and associated emissions for specific energy-related economic sectors. In facilitating the work by the secretariat and expert review teams on the annual technical review of GHG inventories, the IEA provides qualitative and quantitative analysis from a comparison of energy data reported by these Parties to the UNFCCC with the IEA data.