General notes

The ultimate objective of the UNFCCC (the Convention) is the stabilisation of greenhouse-gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. The Convention also calls for all Parties to commit themselves to the following objectives:

• to develop, update periodically, publish and make available to the Conference of the Parties (COP) their national inventories of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks, of all greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol.

• to use comparable methodologies for inventories of greenhouse-gas emissions and removals, to be agreed upon by the COP.

As a response to the objectives of the UNFCCC, the IEA Secretariat, together with the IPCC, the OECD and numerous international experts, has helped to develop and refine an internationally-agreed methodology for the calculation and reporting of national greenhouse-gas emissions from fuel combustion. This methodology was published in 1995 in the IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. After the initial dissemination of the methodology, revisions were added to several chapters, and published as the Revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (1996 IPCC Guidelines). In April 2006, the IPCC approved the 2006 Guidelines at the 25th session of the IPCC in Mauritius. For now, most countries (as well as the IEA Secretariat) are still calculating their inventories using the 1996 IPCC Guidelines.13

13. Both the 1996 IPCC Guidelines and the 2006 IPCC Guidelines are available from the IPCC Greenhouse Gas Inventories Programme (http://www. ipcc-nggip.iges.

Since the IPCC methodology for fuel combustion is largely based on energy balances, the IEA estimates for CO2 from fuel combustion published in this document have been calculated using the IEA energy balances and the default IPCC methodology. However, other possibly more detailed methodologies may be used by Parties to calculate their inventories. This may lead to different estimates of emissions. See Chapter 1, IEA emissions estimates, for further details.

The calculation of CO2 emissions from fuel combustion may be done at three different levels referred to as Tiers 1, 2 and 3. The Tier 1 methods estimate the emissions from the carbon content of fuels supplied to the country as a whole (the Reference Approach) or to the main fuel combustion activities (Sectoral Approach). The following chapter summarises the IPCC Tier 1 methodology from the 1996 IPCC Guidelines.

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