Preparatory Signal Detection for the EU-27 Member States Under EU Burden Sharing - Advanced Monitoring Including Uncertainty (1990-2007)

Lesiv, M. ORCID:, Bun, A., Hamal, K., & Jonas, M. ORCID: (2011). Preparatory Signal Detection for the EU-27 Member States Under EU Burden Sharing - Advanced Monitoring Including Uncertainty (1990-2007). IIASA Interim Report. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: IR-11-005

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This study follows up IIASA Interim Report IR-04-024 (Jonas et al., 2004), which addresses the preparatory detection of uncertain greenhouse gas (GHG) emission changes (also termed emission signals) under the Kyoto Protocol. The question probed was how well do we need to know net emissions if we want to detect a specified emission signal after a given time? The authors used the Protocol's Annex B countries as net emitters and referred to all Kyoto GHGs (CO2, CH4, N2O, HFCs, PFCs, and SF6) excluding CO2 emissions/removals due to land-use change and forestry (LUCF). They motivated the application of preparatory signal detection in the context of the Kyoto Protocol as a necessary measure that should have been taken prior to/in negotiating the Protocol. The authors argued that uncertainties are already monitored and are increasingly made available but that monitored emissions and uncertainties are still dealt with in isolation. A connection between emission and uncertainty estimates for the purpose of an advanced country evaluation has not yet been established. The authors developed four preparatory signal analysis techniques and applied these to the Annex B countries under the Kyoto Protocol. The frame of reference for preparatory signal detection is that Annex B countries comply with their agreed emission targets in 2008-2012. The emissions path between base year and commitment year/period is generally assumed to be a straight line, and emissions prior to the base year are not taken into consideration. An in-depth quantitative comparison of the four, plus two additional, preparatory signal analysis techniques has been prepared by Jonas et al. (2010).

This study applies the strictest of these techniques, the combined undershooting and verification time (Und&VT) concept to advance the monitoring of the GHG emissions reported by the 27 Member States of the European Union (EU). In contrast to the study by Jonas et al. (2004), the Member States' agreed emission targets under EU burden sharing in compliance with the Kyoto Protocol are taken into account, however, still assuming that only domestic measures will be used (i.e., excluding Kyoto mechanisms). The Und&VT concept is applied in a standard mode, i.e., with reference to the Member States' agreed emission targets in 2008-2012, and in a new mode, i.e., with reference to linear path emission targets between base year and commitment year. Here, the intermediate year of reference is 2007.

To advance the reporting of the EU, uncertainty and its consequences are taken into consideration, i.e., (i) the risk that a Member State's true emissions in the commitment year/period are above its true emission limitation or reduction commitment (true emission target); and (ii) the detectability of the Member State's agreed emission target. This risk can be grasped and quantified although true emissions are unknown by definition. Undershooting the agreed target or the compatible but detectable target can decrease this risk. The Member States' undershooting options and challenges as of 2007 are contrasted with their actual emission situation in that year, which is captured by the distance-to-target-path indicator (DTPI; formerly: distance-to-target indicator) initially introduced by the European Environment Agency. This indicator measures by how much the emissions of a Member State deviate from its linear emissions path between base year and target year.

In 2007, fourteen EU-27 Member States exhibit a negative DTPI and thus appear as potential sellers: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. However, expecting that all of the EU Member States will eventually exhibit relative uncertainties in the range of 5-10% and above rather than below (excluding LUCF and Kyoto mechanisms), the Member States require considerable undershooting of their EU-compatible but detectable targets if one wants to keep the said risk low that the Member States' true emissions in the commitment year/period fall above their true emission targets. As of 2007, these conditions can only be met by ten (nine new and one old) Member States (ranked in terms of credibility): Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom; while four Member States, Germany, Belgium, Sweden and France, can only act as potential sellers with a higher risk. The other EU-27 Member States do not meet their linear path (base year-commitment year) undershooting targets as of 2007 (i.e., they overshoot their intermediate targets), or do not have Kyoto targets at all (Cyprus and Malta).

The relative uncertainty, with which countries report their emissions, matters. For instance, with relative uncertainty increasing from 5 to 10%, the 2008/12 emission reduction of the EU-15 as a whole (which has jointly approved, as a Party, an 8% emission reduction under the Kyoto Protocol) switches from detectable to non-detectable, indicating that the negotiations for the Kyoto Protocol were imprudent because they did not take uncertainty and its consequences into account.

It is anticipated that the evaluation of emission signals in terms of risk and detectability will become standard practice and that these two qualifiers will be accounted for in pricing GHG emission permits.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Interim Report)
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Forestry (FOR)
Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:46
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:22

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