ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Estimating Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Does Production-based Methodology Reflect the Global Economic Reality?

There is a growing realisation among the scientific community that the current production-based greenhouse gas accounting framework does not capture the true essence of responsibilities towards global emissions. While production emissions of developed countries have decreased, consumption has gone up. We argue that this is due to the shifting of energy-intensive industries to developing countries. The increasing gap between consumption and production emissions not only distorts responsibility, but also affects developing countries’ ability to fulfil their nationally determined contributions. We discuss the implications and possibilities of a consumption-based methodology for GHG estimating and argue that such accounting is necessary to increase the system’s transparency.

The quantum and distribution of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced by various sources across different countries is a matter of scientific and politico-economic enquiry. The issue has huge implications for sustainable development and has prompted intense debate on the nature and growth of emissions around the world in the context of climate change. As the Paris Agreement commits all countries to cut emissions within their national territories, the issue of net transfers of emissions from Non-annex I to Annex I countries has become more important than ever before. A proper analysis of the methodologies employed to estimate emissions is key to understanding the sources and impact of such emissions on human society and populations in a globalised world.

The current methodology used by governments for estimating emissions as part of the international agreement on climate change—the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)—is devised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC is a scientific intergovernmental body set up by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The IPCC is tasked with assessing the research on climate change and related scientific issues, including GHG emissions, and making projections regarding climate change scenarios.

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Updated On : 29th Oct, 2018
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