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BC emissions inventories

Action 2.5: Promote further harmonisation of black carbon emissions reporting formats

Comparable reporting of source-sector level of emissions is important for monitoring emissions in different countries.

Area of Action
BC emissions inventories
Promote further harmonisation of black carbon emissions reporting formats
Review of AC framework reporting recommendations
Type of intervention
Establishment and improvements of monitoring and inventories Information and guidance
Time perspective
Short-term (EGBCM Meetings)
Structural change
Jurisdictional scope
Policy forum
AC: EGBCM, UNECE Air Convention: EMEP Steering Body & CEIP

Between the Air Convention, AC and EU NECD, reporting of black carbon is to a large extent harmonised. The reporting templates (i.e. the spreadsheets containing the national totals and source-sector level emissions) of the Air Convention and EU NECD are identical, and AC recommends the use of the same reporting template. However, to date the US and Russia have reported black carbon emissions using different source sector splits at a more aggregated level.

Under the Air Convention, not all Parties are obliged to use the current NFR14 (Nomenclature For Reporting) reporting format. In fact, only the EMEP countries are obliged to use this reporting template, while non-EMEP countries – the US and Canada – are encouraged (but not obliged) to do so. Starting from 2020, Canada does use the NFR14 reporting format for reporting of its air pollutant emissions including BC. The US on the other hand reports only its national total air pollution emissions in the reporting template, with source-sector level black carbon emissions reported at a different and aggregated level in a separate document. Recent discussions with representatives of the US Environmental Protection Agency indicate that the US have been working on a cross-walk system between their inventory system and the NFR sector-split, so that emissions of all air pollutants including black carbon can soon (2021/2022) be reported using the Air Convention reporting format.

Recommendations for the reporting of black carbon under the AC framework are somewhat brief, and the EGBCM of the Arctic Council may wish to examine whether the black carbon reporting guidelines set out in the AC Framework for Action on Enhanced Black Carbon and Methane Emissions Reductions could be refined or elaborated. Given the framework’s existing reliance on parallel reporting of its Members and Observers under the Air Convention, the EGBCM may explore the possibility of more explicit reporting recommendations that encourage its Members and Observers to submit their summary reports to the AC secretariat, while the full emissions inventory data would be submitted to CEIP using the Air Convention reporting templates. Such an action could be explored in collaboration with CEIP and EMEP given that it would potentially mean the acceptance of emissions data from the Arctic Councils non-EU Observer countries that neither are parties to the Air Convention. If considered beneficial and receives support from the respective institutions of the Air Convention (EMEP Steering Body, the Executive Body) the action could be explored and further developed into a recommendation by the EGBCM through the 2-year iterative process to enhance implementation (the process that allows the EGBCM to continuously assess the implementation of and progress under the AC Framework). Indeed, the preliminary action described above is consistent with the EGBCM’s 2017 recommendations to the AC Member and Observer countries to follow the Air Convention guidelines, or comparable methodology, when developing black carbon inventories and projections. Collaboration with EMEP centres and Task Forces of the Air Convention has been identified by the EGBCM as an opportunity to propagate best practises for black carbon inventories, and reciprocally, cooperation with the Arctic Council is explicitly mentioned in the Convention’s Long-term strategy for 2020-2030 as something that should be built upon to leverage synergies in respective implementation work.