Improving Comparability of Emissions Data, Methodologies and Inventories in North America
Operational Plan: 2011-2012
The three countries of North America are the source of approximately one-quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Any joint North American mitigation objectives would benefit from reliable and comparable GHG emissions data and information that can be shared across the region.
At present, North America features multiple GHG-reporting regimes, both voluntary and mandatory, at national and subnational levels, and with varying degrees of detail and complexity. GHG reporting requirements for industrial sources, including sector coverage, vary by jurisdiction. For example, reporting thresholds range from 10 kilotonnes (kT) under Mexico’s federal PRTR, the Registro de Emisiones y Transferencia de Contaminantes (RETC), 20–25kT in the United States, depending on the state or region concerned, to 10–100 kT in Canada, depending on the province.
The effective implementation of emissions reduction and climate change mitigation initiatives at the local, regional, and international levels requires the establishment of consistent methodologies for reporting and quantifying GHG emissions. This project’s objective is to improve the comparability of greenhouse gas emissions inventories across North America and enable the three countries to share results and strengthen capacities in the collection and management of these emission estimates, while working towards their climate change mitigation objectives.
The first step of this project involves conducting a comprehensive review and assessment of relevant inventory elements. Both greenhouse gas and black carbon inventories will be considered, as well as current state or provincial inventory efforts in Canada, Mexico and the United States. The elements of the various inventories will be compared to the reporting guidelines developed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
This assessment will provide a complete picture of North American inventory development efforts. It will also identify specific issues and areas where improvements in GHG inventory comparability and structure can advance the three countries’ climate change mitigation objectives and support areas of future cooperative work.