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Setting the Boundaries
A world leading
energy and climate
change consultancy
Stephen Boyle, Principal Consultant, Climate Change and Policy
11th March 2009
About AEA
• Global business supporting public and
private sectors
- Energy and climate change
- Air and water quality
- Risk management and due diligence
- Resource efficiency
- Sustainable transport
AEA has been
- Innovation and knowledge transfer
compiling estimates of
- Sustainability
- Information technology and
environmental management
air emissions for UK
Government for close
to 20 years
Outline to presentation
• The UK GHG Emissions Inventory
National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory
Latest Figures
Scottish Government Carbon Assessment
• Boundaries
What are they?
Why do we need them?
• Final Remarks
National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory
• The National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory(NAEI), developed and
managed by AEA, is the basis for reporting to the UN Framework Convention
on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and provides the authoritative data on the
UK’s direct emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHG) split into
sectors and sources.
• Based on IPCC3 guidelines. Estimates include emissions caused by all
domestic, commercial, industrial and agricultural fuel and electricity use, as
well as emissions associated with transport and land use change. However,
International shipping and aviation are excluded.
• The UK emissions inventories are widely regarded as one of the worlds
leading inventories
The UK GHG Emissions Inventory
The Scottish GHG Inventory
Since 1998, AEA has provided GHG inventories to the Devolved
Administrations, including retrospective estimates back to 1990.
DA emission estimates for the basket of 6 Kyoto Protocol GHGs
Time series from 1990 to 2006 (latest year) and updated annually
We adopt the basic principle that:
Sum of DA inventories = UK Inventory
...for each source and each pollutant
Incorporates benefits of the UK NAEI/GHGI
 No need to re-invent the wheel deriving emission factors, many activity
data, conversion factors etc.
 UK inventories subject to rigorous QA/QC
Regional greenhouse gas emissions
• The 2008 study shows that the UK distribution of regional net greenhouse
gas emissions in 2006, expressed in terms of global warming potentials
(GWP), was:
Northern Ireland 3.4%
Devolved Administration’s Inventories –
2005 GHG Emissions
Emissions Summary for Scotland, 2006 (kt CO2e)
Power stations
Road Transport
Residential Combustion
Land Converted to Cropland
Other Industrial Combustion
Agricultural Soils
Enteric fermentation - Cattle
Commercial and Institutional Combustion
Summary: Scottish GHG Inventory
GHG emissions from economic activities in Scotland are available within the
Scottish GHG Inventory
These estimates are consistent with official statistics, the UK inventory, EUETS, and the reporting formats and quality requirements of international GHGIs
(hence directly comparable with other Member State inventories)
Historic emissions only (no account for future impacts). Scotland-specific
projections are available, but typically follow UK forecast trends.
The Scottish GHGI is production-based, not consumption-based. This is a
significant issue in the power sector, where (1) Scotland has high renewable
energy generation, and (2) Scotland exports electricity to England and Northern
Ireland. All Scottish power station emissions are allocated to Scotland.
Not based upon SIC code, but can be correlated to Economic sector codes.
Environmental Accounts
GHG emissions for 93 economic sectors
The process for compiling these environmental accounts on a UK-wide
basis is becoming more well established.
There is, however, no devolved environmental accounts for Scotland.
Uncertainties in the Scottish inventory may be magnified when further
manipulation of the data is carried out to fit Economic Activity codes.
Sector mapping frequently requires expert judgment – which is currently
based upon UK activities. Taking a Scottish specific perspective may
require the underlying assumptions to be revisited.
Scottish Government Carbon Assessment
The Scottish Government is committed to developing and implementing a
framework and set of tools to assess the carbon impact of individual Scottish
Government policies, programmes and projects, and the carbon impact of
total Government spend.
The overarching aim of the project is to put carbon emissions at the heart of
government decision-making to support a reduction in emissions in line with
carbon budgets and the longer term aim of an 80 percent reduction in
Scottish Greenhouse Gas emissions by 2050.
Carbon Impact Assessment Guidance
Boundaries: What are they?
• Boundaries vary greatly depending on the methodology used for the Carbon
Accounting and its purpose.
• They include;
- The scope of the task
- The measured parameters
- Emission Factors
• Different Methodologies;
Life Cycle Assessment
Input-Output Analysis
Dynamic macro-modelling
Boundaries: Why do we need them?
• Boundaries are important for consistency, clarity, cross comparison and
• Consistency is important for clarity and greater understanding. It allows
Government, policy makers and managers to develop targets, report, make
cross comparisons and develop plans.
• The aim is that these methodologies provide the necessary information to
allow and instigate carbon saving opportunities
Boundaries: Issues!
• Double counting can occur when several instruments target the same end
user or target group, and the interactions are not adequately addressed within
the policy appraisal.
• Consistency of reporting and how it effects baseline calculations, trends and
policy decisions.
• Additional sources and gases
• Differing Methodologies.
• Difficult areas
Final Remark
Clear boundaries are important for transparency and robustness.
They promote consistency which facilitates better understanding which leads
to better decision making and policies.
Which will assist in the reduction of GHG emissions.
Setting the Boundaries
Stephen Boyle,
Principal Consultant, Climate Change and Policy
[email protected]
11th March 2009