Category: National governments, Emission inventories

Review of inventories submitted under the National Emission Ceilings Directive

Aether has been involved in reviewing national emission inventories for more than 20 years, and provides several staff for key roles in the NEC Directive reviews.

The Challenge

"Air pollution is causing damage to human health and ecosystems. Large parts of the population do not live in a healthy environment, according to current standards. To get on to a sustainable path, Europe will have to be ambitious and go beyond current legislation" (Hans Bruyninckx, EEA Executive Director).

Whilst there are many different air pollutants, particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and ground-level ozone are recognised as the pollutants that currently have the most significant impacts on human health and ecosystems. Air pollution can be transported across large distances, meaning that the effects can range from local to European and even up to the hemispheric scale. As a result, tackling air pollution issues requires joined-up approaches across countries.

Within the EU there are several approaches being taken to control emissions of air pollutants. Long-term objectives are in place to reduce the exposure to air pollution and improve air quality. The EU’s NEC Directive establishes emission reduction commitments for each Member State. To demonstrate progress towards their commitments they are required to report their historical emissions and adopt National Air Pollution Control Plans (NAPCPs). To ensure that their emission estimates are accurate, they are subject to a detailed technical review each year.

The Solution

The annual reviews of the emissions data submitted by Member States involve technical experts checking the quality of the estimates and in particular the accuracy. The reviews are designed to be constructive and to support Member States in making improvements to their emission estimates. The outcome of the reviews is primarily to provide recommendations to Member State technical experts on how priority improvements can be undertaken. Any more serious quality issues found result in improvements being undertaken during the course of the review.

Aether staff have been involved in reviewing national emission inventories for more than 20 years, and we regularly provide several staff for key roles in the NEC Directive reviews. As well as providing technical experts, Aether plays a leading role in  the process of the review. This includes project planning and management, the development of review processes and tools, carrying out technical checks on the inventory data, leading on quality checking, and creating the review reports for Member States.

In recent years, the annual reviews have been of fundamental importance in driving improvements in the quality of the national emission estimates and ensuring that all Member States are working towards a submission that meets defined quality standards.

The Result

Emission inventories are a fundamentally important tool for policy formation. They indicate the current priorities in terms of pollutant emissions and are the basis for making estimates of how emissions will change in future years. They are also used by Member States to formally demonstrate compliance with their commitments under the NEC Directive. It is important that the quality of the emission estimates is understood, and that the estimates are demonstrated to be of sufficient quality. Aether will be involved with the reviews for 2020 to 2023, helping to improve the quality of Member State submissions.

It is only with sufficiently reliable emission inventories that Member States and the European Commission can undertake the formation of new air quality policies and review the progress of existing policies.

See all case studies

Chris Dore

Director

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Testimonial

Don't just take our word for it...

“Aether is a great partner for work in the area of European Air Emissions. The team was committed, reliable, well organised and had a deep technical understanding and motivated other partners with their good spirit.”

Umweltbundesamt: Environment Agency Austria

“Professional team and very collaborative communication. Effective result in terms of suggestions for improvement in the quality of the inventory and proposals on how to streamline specific topics.”

Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research

“Aether delivered training workshops and generated learning materials for our SSN members, providing technical content in a manageable and comprehendible format. We particularly benefitted from their extensive knowledge and ability to interpret the needs of our members into the training materials.”

Jennifer Anderson, Sustainable Scotland Network

“The support provided by Aether for this project was especially remarkable considering the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tools and methods used in order to engage local stakeholders really added value to the capacity building of the national team.”

Shanna Emmanuel, Saint Lucia BUR Project Coordinator

“The team at Aether works very professionally and communicates very well which makes working with them a pleasure. Outputs are delivered on time to high quality. The team brings the rigour of technical knowledge and expertise and finds innovative ways of communicating complex messages. I would be happy to recommend the Aether team to organisations working on analysing and presenting emissions information in the public domain.”

Fiona Glover, States of Jersey

“It is always an absolute pleasure working with Aether. I always know what is expected of me. Their work ethic is of a very high standard and projects are always handled in a very professional manner. I have learnt many skills in terms of project management, quality control and workshop training styles from Aether and I hope to carry these principles forward in my own work. I look forward to collaborating with Aether more in the future.”

Luanne Stevens, Gondwana

“If we have a need for any more reports in the future Aether will be first on my list.”

Alan Hardy, Kyson Design

“Aether was a great asset in involving/engaging with Member States experts on highly technical subjects regarding GHG reporting. Very clear communication of issues and results.”

Andreas Pilzecker, DG CLIMA

“Saint Lucia embraces the professional approach with which this project was undertaken by Aether, particularly their ability to develop mentorship relations with local government experts. This provides a basis for ensuring that the pool of local experts remain engaged and recognized over successive processes.”

Annette Rattigan-Leo, Chief Sustainable Development and Environment Officer

“I must congratulate each of you for your professional and tireless efforts. Let me point out that this has been the 'neatest' in-country review expert review team I have coordinated, and it has been a real pleasure.”

UNFCCC Secretariat

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