Keywords: Institutional arrangements
The UK’s greenhouse gas inventory is compiled and maintained by a consortium of institutions under contract to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The consortium is led by Ricardo Energy & Environment, which is responsible for producing the emissions estimates for energy, industrial processes and waste sectors, and for inventory planning, data collection, QA/QC and inventory management and archiving. Agricultural sector emissions (CRF sector 3) are produced by Rothamsted Research, under contract to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
As the contractor responsible for the agriculture inventory, Rothamsted Research is responsible for:
- activity data, methods, emission factors and emission estimation;
- preparing and developing the agriculture inventory and delivering on time for incorporation into national inventory;
- delivering the finalized GHG emissions data to Ricardo Energy & Environment;
- maintaining documentation and archiving of models and procedures used; and
- participating in sectoral expert panels as required.
Ricardo Energy & Environment are responsible for checking consistency between outputs.
The UK has established a National Inventory Steering Committee (NISC) as a cross-government body. The NISC is tasked with the official consideration and approval of the national inventory prior to submission to the UNFCCC. This pre-submission review is done at a NISC meeting prior to the finalization of the inventory, and any recalculations to the inventory are presented and discussed at this meeting. The NISC also assists the BEIS GHG inventory management team to manage and prioritize the over-arching inventory QA, facilitate review and improvement, and improve communication between inventory stakeholders across government departments. Members of the Steering Committee include the Inventory Agency team at Ricardo Energy & Environment, other contractors, plus appropriate sector, legal and economic experts. These experts are responsible for reviewing methodologies, activity data, emission factors and emission estimates at a sectoral level and report their findings and recommendations to the steering committee on a regular basis. The committee is responsible for ensuring that the inventory meets international standards of quality, accuracy and completeness, and is delivered on time each year to the EU Monitoring Mechanism Regulation and the UNFCCC.
The NISC is responsible for agreeing the priorities for the UK GHGI improvement program. The NISC meets twice a year to discuss the outcomes of recent peer, internal and expert reviews and to agree the prioritization, funding, implementation and review of items on the UK inventory improvement program.
The Key Category Analysis and the uncertainty analysis, qualitative analysis from inventory experts and recommendations from reviews of the UK GHG inventory are used as guidance to help the members of the NISC make decisions on which improvements are the most important. Key categories with high uncertainty are given priority over non-key categories or categories with a low uncertainty. The annual inventory review feedback from the UNFCCC and outcomes from QA/QC checks and reviews carried out under the MMR and ESD, as well as sector-specific peer- or bilateral review findings are also considered to guide decisions on UK GHGI improvement priorities.
Author: Andreas Wilkes, Values for development Ltd (2019)