Purpose of the key category analysis

As far as possible, key categories should receive special consideration in terms of three important inventory aspects.

Firstly, identification of key categories in national inventories enables limited resources available for preparing inventories to be prioritised. It is good practice to focus the available resources for the improvement in data and methods onto categories identified as key.

Secondly, in general, more detailed higher tier methods should be selected for key categories. Inventory compilers should use the category-specific methods presented in sectoral decision trees in Volumes 2-5 (see Figure 4.1). For most sources/sinks, higher tier (Tier 2 and 3) methods are suggested for key categories, although this is not always the case. For guidance on the specific application of this principle to key categories, it is good practice to refer to the decision trees and sector-specific guidance for the respective category and additional good practice guidance in chapters in sectoral volumes. In some cases, inventory compilers may be unable to adopt a higher tier method due to lack of resources. This may mean that they are unable to collect the required data for a higher tier or are unable to determine country specific emission factors and other data needed for Tier 2 and 3 methods. In these cases, although this is not accommodated in the category-specific decision trees, a Tier 1 approach can be used, and this possibility is identified in Figure 4.1. It should in these cases be clearly documented why the methodological choice was not in line with the sectoral decision tree. Any key categories where the good practice method cannot be used should have priority for future improvements.

Thirdly, it is good practice to give additional attention to key categories with respect to quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) as described in Chapter 6, Quality Assurance/Quality Control and Verification, and in the sectoral volumes.

1 In Good Practice Guidance for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (GPG2000, IPCC, 2000), the concept was named 'key source categories' and dealt with the inventory excluding the LULUCF Sector.

Figure 4.1 Decision Tree to choose a Good Practice method

Figure 4.1 Decision Tree to choose a Good Practice method

Box 3

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