The assessment of greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted to and removed from the
atmosphere is high on both political and scientific agendas internationally. Under the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), parties to the Convention have published national GHG inventories, or
national communications to the UNFCCC, since the early 1990s. Methods for the proper accounting of human-induced
GHG sources and sinks at national scales have been stipulated by institutions such as the Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change (IPCC) and many countries have been producing national assessments for well over a decade.
As increasing international concern and cooperation aim at policy-oriented solutions to the climate change problem,
however, a number of issues have begun to arise regarding verification and compliance under both proposed and
legislated schemes meant to reduce the human-induced global climate impact.
The issues of concern at the 1st International Workshop on Uncertainty in Greenhouse Gas Inventories, held
September 24-25, 2004, in Warsaw, Poland, rooted in the level of confidence with which national emission
assessments can be performed, as well as the management of uncertainty and its role in developing informed policy.
The 1st Workshop covered state-of-the-art research and developments in accounting, verifying and trading of GHG
emissions and provided a multidisciplinary forum for international experts to address the methodological
uncertainties underlying these activities. The topics of interest covered national GHG emission inventories,
bottom-up versus top-down emission analyses, signal processing and detection, verification and compliance, and
emission trading schemes.
In the meantime, researchers grow increasingly suspicious about these and other uncertainty issues. In a
follow-up workshop, jointly organized by the Austrian-based International
Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and the Systems Research Institute of the Polish Academy
of Sciences, international experts are invited
to address uncertainty issues concerning:
- Achieving reliable GHG emission inventories at national and other scales
(facility/entity level, project level, etc.)
- Reporting reliable uncertainties at these scales/levels
- Accounting GHG emissions across spatial scales (regional/continental, national,
facility/entity, project, etc.)
- Bottom-up versus top-down emission analyses
- Detecting and analyzing emission changes vis-a-vis their underlying uncertainties
- Reconciling short-term emission commitments and long-term concentration targets
- Verification and compliance
- Trading emissions
- Communicating, negotiating and effectively using uncertainty.
The 2nd International Workshop on Uncertainty in Greenhouse Gas Inventories will take place at the International
Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria.
Last updated: 7 October 2010