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 2023, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Russia, and Turkey have not yet reported estimates of national black carbon emissions under the Air Convention.
From an Arctic perspective, 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)). 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. While it is currently difficult to propose opportunities for cooperation and action on the issue of Russian reporting, it is worth noting that the Izrael Institute of Global Climate and Ecology, Moscow, compiled and published a black carbon emission inventory for Russia in a 2022 article in the journal Russian Meteorology and Hydrology. Moreover, according to the article, the provision of data on the black carbon emission was planned in the National Report on Black Carbon and Methane within the Arctic Council in 2022.
To improve reporting of black carbon emission inventories , capacity-building activities, addressed in Component 2.1a, could be useful. 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. Here, the Forum for International Cooperation on Air Pollution (FICAP) could open further possibilities for cooperation (see also component 2.2c).
Component 2.1a. Emission inventory capacity-building
Non-reporting or irregular reporting of emissions inventories may indicate a lack of capacity in the respective countries, an issue that could be addressed via capacity-building endeavors. 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).
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 represent a forum for engagement 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.