Rationale and definition:
This indicator tracks total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in ton of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e), broken down by gas (including CO2, N2O, CH4, HFCs, PFCs, and SF6) and sector (including petroleum refining, electricity and heat production, manufacturing industries and construction, transport, commercial and residential buildings, fugitive emissions, as well as emissions from industrial processes) in line with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2006 guidelines for the national GHG inventory,1 and the special chapters on energy2 and industry-related emissions.3
The UNFCCC collects GHG emissions data, estimated using a production-based (sometimes also referred to as territorial-based) accounting method. Under this approach, all emissions taking place “within national territory and offshore areas over which the country has jurisdiction” (as defined by IPCC 2006 guidelines for the national GHG inventory) are assigned to a country.
A complementary accounting method focuses on demand-based or consumption-based emissions. Under this approach emissions attributed to domestic final consumption and those caused by the production of its imports are attributed to a country.4 In other words GHG emissions for the importing country are augmented by the GHG content of the imports. Similarly, emissions for an exporting country are lowered.5 Demand or consumption-based emissions are estimated using international input- output tables and therefore require a more complex methodology.
By sectors and gas, as described above. The disaggregation by sector should – to the extent possible – be made consistent with systems of national accounts. It might be advisable to also report the data by International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC).
Comments and limitations:
The use of production-based emissions accounting is well established and consistent with the definition of GDP. Yet, since it omits emissions embodied in international trade, there is a growing body of literature that argues in favor of a demand-based or consumption-based accounting of emissions. We therefore recommend that countries report their emissions using both production and demand-based measures.
Preliminary assessment of current data availability by Friends of the Chair:
Primary data source:
Potential lead agency or agencies:
Countries’ data for this indicator are regularly submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The OECD can also report this data. UNIDO monitors the GHG emissions for manufacturing sectors.
Eggleston H.S., Buendia L., Miwa K., Ngara T. and Tanabe K. (eds.) (2006). 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. (5 volume collection).
Ibid, see volume 2 on Energy.
Ibid, see volume 3 on Industrial Processes and Product Use.
Peters, G. and Hertwich, E. (2008). Post-Kyoto greenhouse gas inventories: production versus consumption, Climatic Change, Volume 86, Issue 1-2, 51-66.
Boitier, B. (2012). CO2 emissions production-based accounting vs. consumption: Insights from the WIOD databases.