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Refining national greenhouse gas inventories

Authors: 
Yona L, B Cashore, RB Jackson, J Ometto, M Bradford
Year: 
2020
Journal: 
Ambio
Journal Volume/Pages: 
49:1581–1586

Abstract

The importance of greenhouse gas inventories cannot be overstated: the process of producing inventories informs strategies that governments will use to meet emissions reduction targets. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) leads an effort to develop and refine internationally agreed upon methodologies for calculating and reporting greenhouse gas emissions and removals. We argue that these guidelines are not equipped to handle the task of developing national greenhouse gas inventories for most countries. Inventory guidelines are vital to implementing climate action, and we highlight opportunities to improve their timeliness and accuracy. Such reforms should provide the means to better understand and advance the progress countries are making toward their Paris commitments. Now is the time to consider challenges posed by the current process to develop the guidelines, and to avail the policy community of recent major advances in quantitative and expert synthesis to overhaul the process and thereby better equip multi-national efforts to limit climate change.

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