The quality of European (EU-15) greenhouse gas inventories from agriculture

A. Leip, U. Dämmgen, P.J. Kuikman, A.R. van Amstel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The European Community is the only regional economic integration organization that has joined the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as a party. The EU-15 has committed itself to report annually on greenhouse gas inventories within the area covered by its EU-15 Member States. The quality of the EC-inventory depends strongly on the quality of the national greenhouse gas inventories, including the comparability of the methodologies used and the definitions applied. This paper reviews the actual quality of the national inventory reports of the EU-15 Member States submitted in 2005 and the resulting quality of the EU-inventory, focusing on the sector `agriculture¿ of the Common Reporting Format. For this sector, a workshop to improve inventory quality was organized at the Joint Research Centre (European Commission). The most uncertain source category in the majority of greenhouse gas inventories is N2O emissions from agricultural soils. Even though the body of information on factors influencing the magnitude of this emission source is already considerable, well designed experimental studies, particularly in southern and eastern European climate regions are needed. Still, it will be unlikely that measurement programmes alone will be sufficient to reduce the uncertainty in this source category. Rather the use of process based models will have to play a role in the future in the inventory process for estimating N2O emissions directly or in the frame of a broader modelling framework that ensures a holistic view of the impact of agriculture on the environment
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-192
JournalEnvironmental Sciences
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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