Stage 3 In-Depth Reviews of Emission Inventories Submitted Under the Lrtap Convention

Stage 3 In-Depth Reviews of Emission Inventories Submitted Under the Lrtap Convention

Implementation Committee (twenty-third meeting; 31 March - 2 April 2009)


Note by the secretariat

1.In line with the request of the Implementation Committee at its twenty-second meeting, the present note by the secretariat provides information on the stage 3 in-depth reviews of emission inventories as well as on the related decisions by the Executive Body at its twenty-sixth session in December 2008. The Implementation Committee may wish to provide its views on any aspect of the stage-3 review process. Specific feedback as to how the reviews could be developed to bring benefit and be of use to the future work of the Implementation Committee would be welcome (e.g. as regard the Parties to be reviewed in 2009 and beyond).

A.Technical reviews of air pollutant emission inventories reported under the Convention and its Protocols

2.Parties to the Convention submit air pollutant emission data annually to the EMEP Centre for Emission Inventories and Projections (CEIP) in line with their emission reporting obligations and notify the CLRTAP secretariat of the contents of their data submission. The submissions consist of both quantitative and qualitative information. Quantitative data should be reported in accordance with the EMEP reporting templates (NFR) and the Convention's Emission Reporting Guidelines (ECE/EB.AIR/97)[1] and using the methodologies of the EMEP/EEA Air Pollution Emission Inventory Guidebook. Qualitative data, including methodologies, should be included in informative inventory reports (IIR).

3.The submitted inventories are subject to technical reviews by CEIP in cooperation with EEA. The reviews aim at assessing and improving the quality of emission data and associated information reported to the Convention as well as to harmonize the inventory improvements under the Convention, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the European Union National Emission Ceilings (NEC) Directive.

4.With a view to further improving the quality of the data submissions, the Task Force on Emission Inventories and Projections specified methods and procedures for a three stage technical review of the inventories[2]. These were approved by the Executive Body at its twenty-fifth session in December 2007[3]. The three stages of the review include the following: (a) Stage 1: An initial check of submissions for timeliness and completeness; (b) Stage 2: A synthesis and assessment of all national submissions with respect to consistency and comparability of data with recommendations for data quality improvement; (c) Stage 3: In-depth reviews of selected inventories, by pollutant, country or sector.

B.Stage 3 reviews

5.Objective: Following completion of the initial checks and the stage 1 and 2 synthesis and assessment reports, a stage 3 in-depth review will examine more in detail the reported inventory quantitative and qualitative data for consistency with the reporting Guidelines and the Guidebook. This will: (a) assist Parties to improve the quality of their emission inventories; (b) ensure that the Convention has adequate and reliable information on annual inventories and emission trends of anthropogenic emissions by sources; (c) advise Parties and the Centres on gaps and revisions needed in country data; (d) inform EMEP modelling centres on the use/application of official inventory data versus other data; (e) provide the Implementation Committee with an objective, consistent, transparent and comprehensive technical assessment of the annual quantitative and qualitative inventory information submitted by Parties.

6. Value added: The first two review stages allow for identification of potential problems in reported emissions but not for assessing them in detail or for issuing recommendations for solving them. The value added of stage 3 reviews consist in the provision of : (a) Country-specific feedback and recommendations to help in prioritization and inventory improvement; (b) Deeper assessment of data quality, e.g. evaluation of methodologies and emission factors used; (c) Capacity-building (for review experts and for reviewed countries) in terms of the sharing of best practice and inventory information across countries; (d) Increased confidence in the quality of data, adding credibility and importance to the submitted data.

7.Scope: The review covers all priority pollutants for which reporting is required under the Emission Reporting Guidelines, including the main air pollutants (CO, NOx, NMVOC, NH3, and SO2) and the priority heavy metals (Cd, Hg, Pb). Particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) and the “annex III” POPs (dioxins and furans, the PAH compounds and HCB). Activity data relevant to these pollutants will be reviewed in addition to emission estimates. The sectors covered include: energy and transport; industrial processes, solvents and other products’ use and waste; and agriculture. The reviews may focus on a selection of pollutants based on the Convention workplan and reflect priorities of the EMEP Steering Body or the Implementation Committee.

8. In particular, the review will examine the inventory estimates, procedures and methodologies used in the preparation of inventories, covering each Party’s national inventory submission, supplementary material submitted by the Party, and previous inventory submissions, as appropriate. The reviews will focus in particular to those areas of the inventory where problems in stages 1 and 2 of the review were identified or where a Party reported recalculated estimates.: (a) examine the application of the requirements of the Emission Reporting Guidelines and Guidebook and identify non-compliance with these requirements; (b) examine whether the good practice guidance of the Guidebook has been applied and documented in the IIR, in particular in relation to transparency, noting the identification of key categories, selection and use of methodologies and assumptions, development and selection of emission factors, collection and selection of activity data, reporting of recalculations and consistent time-series and quality assurance and quality control procedures, and identify any inconsistencies; (c) compare emission estimates, activity data, implied emission factors and any recalculations with data from previous submissions, to identify any irregularities or inconsistencies; (d) identify any missing sources and examine any explanatory information relating to their exclusion from the inventory; (e) identify the reasons for any differences between a Party’s and the EMEP emission centre’s key category determination; (f) assess the consistency of information in the reporting tables with that in the IIR; (g) assess the extent to which issues raised in stages 1 and 2, as well as issues and questions raised by expert review teams in previous reports, in other ad-hoc reviews, or identified by the Task Force, have been addressed and resolved; (h) identify areas for further improvement of the inventories and note possible ways for improving the estimation and the reporting of inventory information; (i) consider the entire inventory process from the collection of data to the reported emission estimates and examine procedures and institutional arrangements for inventory development and management, including quality assurance and quality control, record-keeping and documentation procedures;

9.Procedure and outputs: Stage 3 is a “centralized” review performed by expert review teams that are selected from a roster of experts nominated by Parties and coordinated by CEIP. CEIP will communicate directly with the nationally designated emission experts of the reviewed country during the review and after the review for the finalization of the report prior to its publication on the CEIP website. The review team will produce an individual inventory review report (not exceeding 10 pages), which focuses on particular strengths and identified problems, as well as on an overall objective appraisal of the quality and reliability of the inventory, emission trends, actual emission factors and activity data, and on the degree of adherence to the Emission Reporting Guidelines and the Guidebook. The individual report consists of key review findings as well as of recommendations to the reviewed Party on (a) inventory system and QA/QC and (b) sectors specific inventory improvements. According to document ECE/EB.AIR/GE.1./2007/16, once finalized the key findings part would be communicated to the Party’s representatives at the Executive Body and the EMEP Steering Body, as well as to the Implemenation Committee, and the recommendations sent to Party’s designated emission expert. In addition to the individual reports, CEIP will produce a final annual review overview report summarizing the outcomes of all three stages submitted for consideration to the EMEP Steering Body. The final reports would be made publicly available on the CEIP website

10.Timing: The results of the annual stage 1 and 2 reviews should be made available around July of each year for the purpose of the stage 3 review. In addition, the stage 3 review process needs to match with the inventory compilation cycle and take into account the UNFCCC review process. Therefore, the stage 3 reviews should take place in autumn. After the review meeting, the ERT is expected to prepare the individual draft review reports in six week, following which the CEIP should edit and format the reports before sending them to the respective Parties designated emission experts for comments. The designated experts will be given four weeks to reply. Based on the feedback from the reviewed Parties, the review teams will finalize the reports within six weeks. In absence of delays, the individual review reports would be finalized and made available on the CEIP website in February.

11.After finalization of the individual country reports by the ERT, CEIP will prepare an overview of the review findings, indicating priorities for improvements; forward it for consideration by the Parties’ designated experts and the Task Force. After Parties had the opportunity to provide comments final reports will be submitted to the Implementing committee and Executive bureau for consideration.

C.Conclusions of the Executive Body in 2008

12.In December 2008, Ms. Vidic, the Chair of the EMEP Steering Body informed the Executive Body about the voluntary stage 3 reviews carried out in 2008 as well as about the plans for compulsory reviews starting in 2009. She stressed the need to avoid delays in the publication of the reports of the stage 3 reviews on the CEIP website, and proposed their publication prior to presentation to the Steering Body. She also stressed the importance of Parties nominating committed and independent experts for the roster of review experts and financially supporting the participation of experts from Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) in this work.

13.The Executive Body:

- Welcomed the stage 3 in-depth reviews of emission inventories to improve the quality of emission data reporting, and invited Parties to nominate experts for the roster of review experts as well as to provide financial support to enable participation of experts from EECCA in the reviews;

- Decided that reports of stage 3 reviews of emission inventories of individual Parties should be published on the CEIP website immediately after they were finalized in consultation with the experts of the reviewed Party[4];

D.Lessons learned from the 2008 (voluntary) stage 3 reviews

14.In line with the decisions of the Executive Body, at its twenty-fifth session, in 2007, the secretariat, in cooperation with CEIP and EEA, had invited Parties to nominate experts for roster of stage 3 review experts as well as to volunteer for stage 3 reviews in 2008.

15.The centralized review meeting took place in Copenhagen[5] (6-10 October 2008) and covered four volunteering countries; France, Norway, Portugal and Sweden. Out of a roster of 38 experts proposed by 10 Parties, the CEIP had selected an expert review team (ERT) of six sectoral experts and one lead reviewer for conducting the work. The review focused on Gothenburg protocol pollutants and particulate matter.

16.CEIP was responsible for providing the material to be reviewed to the review team as well as questions to the designated emission experts of the reviewed countries in advance to the review meeting. The reviews were conducted in line with the methods and procedures document ECE/EB.AIR/GE.1./2007/16. In addition,

TFEIP in cooperation with the EEA/ European Topic Centre on Air and Climate Change had elaborated templates for review reports, review transcripts and further guidance for the reviewers.

17.As of March 2009, the 2008 stage reviews had not yet been made available. Two of them were about to be published on the website and the remaining two were still in the phase of being commented by the designated emission expert of the reviewed Party.

18. CEIP reported preliminary conclusions and lessons learned from the 2008 round to the EMEP Steering Body Bureau at its meeting on 3-4 March 2009. These included the following

- The four inventories reviewed in 2008 were of high quality and well documented. Consequently required work load of the review teams can be expected to substantially increase when reviewing less consistent inventories;

- The review process is time consuming represents important amount of work before and after the actual review for preparatory purposes and for finalizing of the reports for CEIP, the review team and the reviewed countries;

- Some review experts had difficulties to deliver the chapters they were responsible for in time, which caused important delays. Parties should be urged to nominate review experts that are committed to deliver in time;

- In view of the limited time available, prioritization of the aspects to be reviewed is crucial;

- Good cooperation and timeliness are essential for the success of the review

E.Compulsory stage 3 reviews as of 2009; plans and challenges

19.The 2009 centralized stage 3 review is scheduled to take place in Copenhagen; from 22 to 27 June 2009. The review will be organized with the support of EEA.

Parties to be reviewed

20. At its meeting in March, the EMEP Bureau considered information on plans for the stage 3 reviews in 2009 and discussed the process for assigning Parties for the review. In accordance with the methods and procedures for the technical review of air pollutant inventories (ECE/EB.AIR/GE.1/2007/16) approved by the Executive Body in 2007, should be the responsibility of the Executive Body “in line with the annual EMEP Workplan”. However, as the Executive Body had not been invited to assign Parties for the 2009 review at its twenty-sixth session, in December 2008, the Bureau concluded that its Chair would consult the Executive Body Chair and Bureau at its meeting on 20 April 2009 for the Parties to be reviewed in 2009 on the basis of the recommendations to be issued by CEIP.

21. List of countries proposed by CEIP for centralised review 2009:

a. Group 1: Denmark, Latvia, Poland, Switzerland, Ireland

b. Group 2: Finnland, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Belgium, Hungary

Number of Parties to be reviewed annually

22.The number of stage 3 reviews to be conducted per year has not been specified in document ECE/EB.AIR/GE.1./2007/16. Ideally, however, Parties’ inventories/ inventory systems should be reviewed as a minimum once every five years. To this end, it would be necessary to review 10 Parties in 2009, 15 Parties in 2010, 10 Parties in 2011 and 10 Parties in 2012 (4 Parties were reviewed during 2008).

23.One expert review team of 10 experts (a lead reviewer, a generalist and 7-8 sectoral experts) is needed for reviewing of up to five Parties one expert review team (ERT). At the time being only 10 Parties nominated experts to the roster. Unless additional nominations are received soon, it will not be possible to review more than 5 Parties a year and the review process will be endangered. Under this assumption, the first review round of inventories of all Parties would be completed only in 2017/2018.

[1] The revised Guidelines were approved by the Executive Body at its twenty-sixth session for use by the Parties as of the 2009 reporting round. The Guidelines and their annexes are available from the CEIP’s website at:

[2] See document ECE/EB.AIR/GE.1./2007/16

[3] ECE/EB.AIR/91, para.27 (m).

[4] ECE/EB.AIR/96, para. 20 (h) and (i);

[5] The European Environment Agency (EEA) has offered to host the centralized review meeting in 2008.