National greenhouse gas inventories are central to climate policy. FACCE-JPI and "Connecting Climate Knowledge for Europe" (JPI Climate) have been collaborating in order to identify opportunities to produce the knowledge needed to improve GHG inventories from agriculture and associated land use to the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement reporting and accounting processes.
In the context of this collaboration, FACCE-JPI and JPI Climate organised a workshop on the use of emerging science to improve agricultural GHG inventories for the UNFCCC reporting, which took place in Brussels, on 19 and 20 October 2022. The workshop brought together around 50 participants – national inventory compilers, agricultural emissions experts, and policy makers – to discuss the state of the art, research needs, and the use of emerging science to improve agricultural GHG inventories. The aim was to start a discussion and to solidify a network around the improvement of GHG inventories in Europe, particularly having a vision for a Tier 3 system (reporting system based on best available data) in Europe driven by combined data and modelling approaches
- The impacts of farming practices targeting the environment and climate are not sufficiently detailed in GHG emission inventories, which may jeopardize using GHG inventories to measure the success of current and future climate and agricultural policies.
- High-resolution Earth Observation data have a significant potential to characterise important aspects of land-use and land-management at parcel level, but these data do not measure the resulting carbon fluxes and changes in carbon stocks, for which models are needed.
- There is a need to develop a concerted and systematic Europe-wide community approach towards integrated modelling of agricultural emissions/removals – from data collection to using these data in models and GHG emission sources and sinks.
- A key element for the successful implementation of a potential Tier 3 approach at a country level or Europe-wide is the development of interactive data collection tools that 1) are consistent with the GHG emissions in inventories in a harmonised way and 2) also provide feedback to the management practices implemented by the farmer.
- The limits and challenges for use of national GHG inventories in supporting policy developments, and interventions at higher spatial and temporal levels, warrant further exploration.