Council Resolution 01-05

Distribution: General

C/01-00/RES/05/Rev. 9


Guadalajara, 29 June 2001

Promoting Comparability of Air Emissions Inventories


FURTHERING the objectives of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC), and consistent with the provisions of NAAEC Article 10(2)(a) concerning the comparability of techniques and methodologies for the gathering, analysis, management and electronic communication of data;

AWARE OF the clear and widespread harm to human health and the environment that ground-level ozone, acid rain and particulate aerosols pose over large regions of North America;

RECOGNIZING the importance of preventing and minimizing polluting air emissions from industrial, transportation and other sources in order to protect the environment and the human health of present and future generations;

RECOGNIZING that each of the countries of North America have their own ambient air quality standards, objectives, or guidelines for carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur dioxide (SO2), ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate aerosol, as well as other pollutants, and National Communications required under the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change to address carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases;

AWARE of the need for air emissions information to support regional transboundary air quality planning activities;

TAKING INTO ACCOUNT and BUILDING UPON current Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) projects, such as air quality tools and the pollutant release and transfer register, existing bilateral and multilateral agreements and activities, as well as the work of relevant international organizations to enhance cooperation on issues relating to the comparability of methodologies for data collection and analysis;

AFFIRMING the importance of source-specific information on sources of primary and secondary air emissions across state, provincial and national borders, and the need for a higher degree of data comparability for the sound management of transboundary air pollutants and regional environmental planning;

ACKNOWLEDGING the desirability of enhanced capacity in areas of data collection in order to achieve a desired level of data comparability and information exchange;

AWARE that each national program has developed a unique process for the collection and modification of environmental data sets, and that the responsibility for designing and implementing national air emissions inventories rests with each country; and

RECOGNIZING that the basic elements of national air emissions inventories include: standardized databases, limited data confidentiality, an indication of what is held confidential and a mechanism for public feedback;


AGREES to work toward developing a trinational inventory for air emissions, including sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulate aerosols, and greenhouse gases;

DECIDES to build upon experience gained through the publication of CEC’s annual report on pollutant releases and transfers in North America (the Taking Stock report), which is based on information collected through national pollutant release and transfer register programs;

AGREES to produce periodic reports by the CEC, summarizing publicly available information from North American air emissions inventories; and

DIRECTS the Secretariat to work with the Parties to implement the following:

1.      assessing progress in enhancing the comparability of air emissions inventories in North America;

2.      improving the comparability of definitions and nomenclature, the scope and resolution of shared inventories, emissions estimation techniques, the treatment of confidential business information, database structures and reporting formats;

3.      developing recommendations to improve dissemination of air emissions data, including facilitating user access to, and comprehension of, air emissions data and associated relevant information, as well as measures relating to joint approaches to technical cooperation and information sharing; 

4.      encouraging complementary national approaches and timetables to enhance air emissions inventories in a manner that respects the different economic, political and regulatory circumstances of the Parties;

5.      encouraging and providing for meaningful public and governmental participation-including that of environmental and public health nongovernmental organizations, business and industry, provincial, state, and municipal governments, academia, and technical and policy experts-in developing its recommendations for enhanced comparability;

6.      coordinating activities with existing national and international workgroups and other organizations; and

7.      convening meetings of trilateral experts to discuss the implementation of this resolution.




Victor Lichtinger
Government of the United Mexican States


Karen Redman
Government of Canada


Christine Todd Whitman

Government of the United States of America

Promoting Comparability of Air Emissions Inventories