Annual Emissions Inventories Submitted on Time Despite COVID-19

All developed countries have submitted their annual greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories on time despite the ongoing pandemic. This is encouraging testimony to the fact that countries remain committed to taking climate action.

GHG inventories capture national data on GHG emissions by source, as well as removals by natural reservoirs (sinks) such as forests, that absorb more carbon than they emit. Inventories cover all years from the base year, e.g. 1990, to two years before the inventory is due in mid-April.   

GHG inventories are critical tools in the response to climate change as they provide a good indication of the current level of emissions for each gas and sector. Sectors include, for example, agriculture, transport, energy and transformative industry. Following on from this, they allow governments to take targeted actions to curb the growth of emissions.

For the UNFCCC process, GHG inventories are key to assessing the current level of overall emissions, as well as trends over time. They may also be used for monitoring the progress made by Parties towards their targets. Through the information contained in the GHG inventories, the top decision-making body in the negotiating process, the Conference of the Parties (COP), is informed and can provide appropriate guidance.

The timely submission by developed countries, even with the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, is a clear indication of Parties’ commitment towards their reporting obligations under the Climate Change Convention and Kyoto Protocol.

The secretariat has been supporting countries throughout the ongoing pandemic, including in the use of the Common Reporting Format (CRF) Reporter application. The CRF Reporter enables a smooth process for compiling, generating and officially submitting Parties’ GHG inventories.

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