[open-sustainability] Checking the state of national CO2 reporting today

Thomas Damassa TDamassa at wri.org
Thu Feb 13 21:19:00 UTC 2014

Hi Chris,

By way of introduction to you and fellow open sustainability list members, my name is Tom Damassa and for several years I’ve been involved with the World Resources Institute’s Climate Analysis Indicators Tool (CAIT) – http://cait2.wri.org - a data platform that focuses on international GHG emissions.

In short, my understanding is that (unfortunately!) most of what Hans Rosling has to say in his interview is still very much true. With the exception of some countries (like the UK and US[1], for example) most are primarily reporting national inventories of GHG emissions in accordance with UNFCCC guidance/timelines. This means Annex I countries are producing annual inventories, but that the latest year of data reported is typically 2-3 years behind the calendar year[2] (so, for example, comprehensive 2012 estimates will be released in approximately May of this year). Non-Annex I countries historically have had no similar obligation so data are typically even sparser or more outdated. The frequency of reporting is expected to change now that NAI countries are planning to submit biennial update reports (as agreed to in the Durban platform) that include an update of their GHG inventory [3]. But this won’t necessarily mean the data presented is more recent (i.e., closer to present).

The major international/non-country sources of CO2/GHG data are the CDIAC, the US Energy Information Administration, the International Energy Agency, and the Joint Research Centre’s EDGAR model (just a note that WRI compiles several of these sources – and some others - in producing our CAIT dataset). All of these sources publish their estimates at a lag of at least a year or two. The CDIAC [4] and EDGAR [5] have recently released preliminary 2012 estimates. I haven’t seen anything more recent.

Hope this is helpful and isn’t coming too late.



[1]: http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/?src=Environment-f2
[2]: http://unfccc.int/ghg_data/ghg_data_unfccc/time_series_annex_i/items/3814.php
[3]: http://unfccc.int/national_reports/non-annex_i_natcom/items/2716.php
[4]: http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/meth_reg.html
[5]: http://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu/overview.php?v=CO2ts1990-2012

Tom Damassa
Climate and Energy Program | World Resources Institute
10 G Street, NE | Washington, DC 20002 USA
T: +1-202-729-7783 | tdamassa at wri.org<mailto:tdamassa at wri.org>

Interested in GHG emissions trends and other climate data?
Check out WRI’s new Climate Analysis Indicators Tool, CAIT 2.0, now online at wri.org/project/cait<http://www.wri.org/project/cait>.

From: open-sustainability [mailto:open-sustainability-bounces at lists.okfn.org] On Behalf Of Chris Adams
Sent: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 3:49 PM
To: open-sustainability
Subject: [open-sustainability] Checking the state of national CO2 reporting today

Hi open sustainability list members,

I'm hoping someone on the list will be able to give me some steer on the current state of national CO2 emissions reporting.

I'm giving a talk at the Open Data Institute this Friday[1] about open data and the environment, for one of the slides, I'm touching on this subject - I've mostly been under the impression that national CO2 reporting lags behind GDP quite significantly.

I'm basing some of this on an interview with Hans Rosling here, where he lamented about the state of CO2 emissions reporting, and how it trailed GDP[2], (although I'm aware how old that post is now), and general discussion with friends in the open data community.

It now looks like the UK's CO2 emissions reporting has improved since then, to the point where they are releasing Q3 CO2 GDP figures not too far behind GDP figures now, both according to data.gov.uk<http://data.gov.uk>[3], and even releasing in something approaching a machine readable format[4].

Is this more common outside the UK too, or is reporting for most countries still as far behind GDP as it was in 2012?

I'd normally consult the OKFN index here[5] to find out myself, but I can't see CO2 as a statistic that's included in the open data census[6].

Anyone able to shed light on the issue?

Many thanks,


[1]: http://theodi.org/lunchtime-lectures/friday-lunchtime-lecture-what-open-data-do-we-need-for-a-cleaner-greener-world
[2]: http://blog.okfn.org/2013/01/21/carbon-dioxide-data-is-not-on-the-worlds-dashboard-says-hans-rosling/
[3]: http://data.gov.uk/dataset/uk_greenhouse_gas_emissions/resource/26f4eee2-f219-4310-b2c6-918fa938f5be
[4]: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/quarterly-uk-emissions-estimates
[5]: https://index.okfn.org/country/
[6]: http://census.okfn.org/about/

Chris Adams
mob: 07974 368 229
tel: 0203 322 5777
skype: chris.d.adams
twitter: mrchrisadams
www: chrisadams.me.uk<http://chrisadams.me.uk>
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