BC emission inventories
Action 2.1: Mobilise further voluntary compilation and reporting of black carbon inventories in EU, AC and UNECE
The technical report on emissions reporting (EUABCA 2019b) highlighted that a large number of countries are reporting black carbon emissions inventories to the EU, AC and/or the Air Convention – however, not all.
2.1b Dialogue with China, India and Singapore on barriers to reporting national black carbon emissions
Information and guidance
2.1b AC: EGBCM, national authorities among AC Observer countries
As of 1 June 2020, Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Russia, and Turkey have not yet reported estimates of national black carbon emissions under the Air Convention. Furthermore, as documented by annual Centre on Emission Inventories and Projections (CEIP) reviews, several of the Air Convention Parties are not reporting their black carbon inventories regularly.
Under this action, mobilising voluntary black carbon reporting by Russia under AC Framework and the Air Convention should be prioritised, given the country’s proximity, scale of black carbon emissions (estimated independently, e.g. Klimont et al. (2017)) and geopolitical influence. To date, Russia has only reported black carbon emissions during one reporting cycle of the AC Framework. Under the Air Convention, no black carbon emissions from Russia have been reported so far. To improve frequency and quality of black carbon emission inventories in countries like Russia, capacity-building activities, addressed in Component 7.1a, are crucial. Another important issue is dialogue with Asian countries (China, India and Singapore) regarding barriers they face in reporting national black carbon emissions – this aspect is considered in Component 2.1b.
Component 2.1a. Emission inventory capacity-building
Often, non-reporting or irregular reporting indicates a lack of capacity in the respective countries, an issue that could be addressed via capacity-building endeavours. A number of Western Balkan and EECCA* countries do not report black carbon emissions under the Air Convention or do so irregularly. However, capacity-building to enhance general implementation of the Convention does take place, and in the 2010 the Executive Body Decision 2010/17 established a specific Coordinating Group to help foster implementation of the Convention in the EECCA countries. The overall framework for capacity-building (tasks and responsible legal bodies (i.e. the Working Groups, Centres and Task Forces of the Convention)) are agreed upon at the Executive Body meetings and outlined in the work plan for implementation of the Convention. The critical issue of resources is agreed between the UNECE Secretariat, the EECCA Coordinating Group and, crucially, the donating Parties.
Providing support to emission reporting through international workshops or in-country assistance has been one of three main activities undertaken by the Convention’s capacity-building programme and could be potentially used to improve the level and quality of black carbon emissions inventories reported under the Air Convention. According to the Convention’s Long-term strategy for 2020-2030, ”capacity-building under the Convention should be enhanced” and “mutual outreach to and information-sharing with organisations such as CCAC, the Arctic Council” should be built upon by “continuing to leverage synergies between their work and the work of the Convention”. There is therefore scope for cooperation between the Air Convention, Arctic Council and the CCAC on capacity building to help establish and improve national black carbon emissions inventories, should resources be made available.
With respect to Western Balkan and EECCA countries, there is also scope for the EU to intervene via IPA (Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance)/TAIEX (Technical Assistance and Information Exchange instrument of the European Commission) capacity building instruments that aim to help the beneficiary countries in compiling national greenhouse gases and air pollution inventories. Future tenders could be designed so that greenhouse gases and air pollutant inventories are integrated and include black carbon submodules. Opportunities also exist for strengthening international and bilateral cooperation on emissions inventories undertaken by Parties to the Convention/AC Member and Observer Countries (however, sometimes de facto independent from the top-down impetus of the respective fora). For example, Sweden and Russia are planning to commence a joint project to develop a complete Russian particulate matter and black carbon inventory system, within long-term bilateral cooperation under the Air Convention. The timing of this initiative could be significant given that in 2021 Russia will take over the Arctic Council chairmanship. This may provide a stimulus for renewed Russian reporting under the AC and compilation of black carbon emission inventories under the Air Convention.
Another incentive to increase the reporting of black carbon emission inventories can be to integrate requirements of emission inventories in investment support schemes. For example, the fulfilment of such reporting can be viewed as a criterion when priorities for location of new Arctic Council pilot projects are set. Linking the fulfilment of reporting tasks to decision-making processes on localisation of funding and pilot projects may as well generate new Arctic Council working groups and make existing groups to even better coordinate and support each other’s work.
Component 2.1b. Dialogue with China, India and Singapore on barriers to reporting national black carbon emissions
It is worth to note that some of the AC observer countries are neither Parties to the Air Convention nor Member States of the EU. Reporting of black carbon emissions by China, India, Japan, Singapore and South Korea is thus only recommended under the AC Framework. So far, only Japan and South Korea have reported black carbon emissions estimates in their summary reports to the AC secretariat. The Arctic Council’s EGBCM may thus wish to engage, e.g. through its working and expert groups, with China, India and Singapore in order to identify the barriers currently stopping these countries from reporting black carbon emissions under the AC Framework.
*EECCA (Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia) includes the following 12 countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. All of them except three countries (Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) ratified the Air Convention.