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Emission reductions difficult to monitor

06.09.2010 11:04 Age: 8 yrs

Policing global attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions may be difficult as monitoring emission level changes in individual countries is fraught with uncertainty, according to a paper in Climatic Change.

The study focuses on an analysis of uncertainty in greenhouse gas emission inventories on the basis that inventory uncertainty is monitored but not regulated under the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The paper "Comparison of preparatory signal analysis techniques for consideration in the (post-) Kyoto policy process", by a team led by Matthias Jonas of the Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg Austria, points out that for most countries the scale of the uncertainties in their combined carbon dioxide equivalent emissions is of the same order of magnitude as the level of emission changes agreed under the Kyoto protocol and that this fact will make it extremely difficult to assess whether any individual countries have complied with their emission undertakings.

Matthias's team applied six different techniques that could "make or break" claims of compliance especially in cases where countries claim to have met their commitments to limit or reduce emissions.

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