Analysis of change in relative uncertainty in GHG emissions from stationary sources for the EU 15

Lesiv, Myroslava; Bun, Andriy; Jonas, Matthias
June 2014
Climatic Change;Jun2014, Vol. 124 Issue 3, p505
Academic Journal
Total uncertainty in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions changes over time due to 'learning' and structural changes in GHG emissions. Understanding the uncertainty in GHG emissions over time is very important to better communicate uncertainty and to improve the setting of emission targets in the future. This is a diagnostic study divided into two parts. The first part analyses the historical change in the total uncertainty of CO emissions from stationary sources that the member states estimate annually in their national inventory reports. The second part presents examples of changes in total uncertainty due to structural changes in GHG emissions considering the GAINS (Greenhouse Gas and Air Pollution Interactions and Synergies) emissions scenarios that are consistent with the EU's '20-20-20' targets. The estimates of total uncertainty for the year 2020 are made under assumptions that relative uncertainties of GHG emissions by sector do not change in time, and with possible future uncertainty reductions for non-CO emissions, which are characterized by high relative uncertainty. This diagnostic exercise shows that a driving factor of change in total uncertainty is increased knowledge of inventory processes in the past and prospective future. However, for individual countries and longer periods, structural changes in emissions could significantly influence the total uncertainty in relative terms.


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