Under the UNFCCC agreement, all parties must report on the steps undertaken to implement the Climate Convention (Articles 4.1 and 12). This report is provided in a national communication that usually contains information on national approaches, such as vulnerability assessment, financial resources and transfer of technology, education and training. Additionally, information is made available on domestic policies and measures to limit or reduce GHG emissions and enhance their removal by sink mechanisms. The parties of Annex I were requested to submit the Fifth national communication to the secretariat by 1st January, 2010. Italy has already presented this report to the UNFCCC (MATTM 2009). At the end of March 2011, the Italian National Communication was subjected to a review process by experts of the UNFCCC and the review report will be soon available.2
2 The review report for the Fifth National Communication will be available in: http://unfccc.int/ national_reports/annex_i_natcom/idr_reports/items/2711.php
Parties have also submitted to secretariat the National GHG inventories of sources and sinks of anthropogenic GHG emissions, which are not controlled by the Montreal Protocol. Annual inventory submissions for Annex I Parties, consisting of National Inventory Report3 (NIR) and Common Reporting Format4 (CRF), are followed by an annual review of GHG inventories finalized with a report.5 In line with the reporting guidelines for national inventories from the IPCC, every year (x), parties shall report their anthropogenic GHG emissions by sources and sinks for the year x-2 (IPCC 1997, 2000, 2003). Detail information on methodologies and emission factors, emission time series, and uncertainties from Italian GHG emission inventory are reported in the NIR report (ISPRA 2011a). Since 2010, reports contain supplementary information as required by Article 7.1 of the Kyoto Protocol, such as those on Articles 3.3 and 3.4, for account of Kyoto units, changes in National Registry, and information on minimization of adverse impacts, in accordance with Article 3.14 of Kyoto Protocol.6
At European level, the legal basis for compilation of EC inventory is the 280/2004/ EC (11/02/2004) Decision of the European Parliament and Council, concerning the mechanism for monitoring GHG emissions in EU and implementing the Kyoto Protocol. This decision established a mechanism to monitor, in each Member States, all anthropogenic GHG emissions (including their removal by sink mechanisms). Moreover, it requires the evaluation of progress made to ensure compliance with the EU commitments on emissions and their removal, the implementation of UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, and the guarantee that information reported by the European Commission to the UNFCCC Secretariat is complete, accurate, consistent, transparent, and comparable.
The Kyoto Protocol (Article 5.1) requires that each party included in Annex I establishes a National system for the estimation of sources and sinks of GHG anthropogenic emissions no later than 1 year prior to the start of the first commitment period. In Italy, the National System was set up by the Legislative Decree no. 51 of March 2008, designating ISPRA,7 formerly APAT,8 as the entity responsible to design, manage, and archive data of the National System for the Italian Greenhouse Gas Inventory, and to collect data and implement a program for monitoring
3 A comprehensive description of the methodologies used in compiling the inventory, the data sources, the institutional structures and quality assurance and control procedures.
4 A series of standardized data tables containing mainly numerical information and submitted electronically.
5 The last review report from Italy is available at the UNFCCC web site: http://unfccc.int/ national_reports/annex_i_ghg_inventories/inventory_review_reports/items/5687.php
6 On 1st June 2002, Italy ratified the Kyoto Protocol with the law n.120 of 01/06/2002. The ratification law also prescribed the preparation of a National Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adopted by the Interministerial Committee for Economic Planning (CIPE) on 19th December 2002. The Kyoto Protocol entered into force on 16 February 2005.
7 ISPRA, Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale.
8 APAT, Agenzia per la Protezione dell'Ambiente e per i Servizi Tecnici.
and quality assurance of data. The Italian National System, currently in place, is fully described in the document "National Greenhouse Gas Inventory System in Italy" (ISPRA 2011b). The "National Registry for Carbon sinks", set up by a Ministerial Decree on April 1, 2008, is part of the Italian National System and includes information on lands units subjected to Article 3.3, activities listed under Article 3.4, and related carbon stock changes. The "National Registry for Carbon sinks" is the instrument to estimate the GHG emissions by sources and removal sinks for forest land and related land-use changes, and account for their net removal, thereby enabling the Italian Registry to deliver the relevant amount of removal units (RMUs).
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