Enhanced guidance in new EEA emission inventory guidebook

Power station at Chvaletice in the Czech Republic.

The European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (EMEP) and European Environment Agency (EEA) have published an updated version of the EMEP/EEA air pollutant emission inventory guidebook following a comprehensive review led by air quality experts from Ricardo Energy & Environment, the UK Government’s national emissions inventory agency.

The updates were published on 30 September 2016 and can be accessed at http://www.eea.europa.eu//publications/emep-eea-guidebook-2016.

The EMEP/EEA guidebook provides direction on estimating emissions from both natural sources and those originating from human activity. It forms the key reference point for the development of national atmospheric emissions inventories. The guide is used to develop and submit national emissions inventories by signatories to the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution. It is also a primary resource for European Union Member States in reporting emissions inventories under the National Emission Ceilings Directive.

The EMEP/EEA guidebook is the key reference point for the development of national atmospheric emissions inventories

The Task Force on Emission Inventories and Projections (a technical group under the UNECE Convention) oversees the Guidebook’s content and coordinates contributions received from different organisations. Ricardo Energy & Environment is grateful for the input received from its project partners (Amec Europe Ltd and Aether UK Ltd) and from Task Force members to the completion of this update.

Access to high-quality air pollutant emissions data is essential to support countries to shape and define their environmental priorities, improve air quality modelling, and assess the effectiveness of policy interventions in terms of protecting human health and the environment. The new guide includes a number of important advances in emissions monitoring, including changes to particulate matter (PM) emissions factors, guidance on calculating ammonia emissions from agriculture and biogas plants, and updates to off-road mobile machinery emission sources. The project was supported by a financial contribution from the European Commission.

Ricardo Energy & Environment project director Dr Mark Broomfield said: “We are very pleased to have taken a leading role in enhancing this guidance in key areas to enable emission inventories to be based on the most robust and up to date scientific information available. The EMEP/EEA guidebook is an important tool for making environmental improvements across Europe and it is a privilege to share our experience in developing high quality emissions inventories to support the European Commission in its environmental ambitions.”

Ricardo Energy & Environment has a heritage of over 60 years providing technical guidance and advice to countries, regions and organisations that are seeking to manage their emissions. In addition to being the UK Government’s national emissions inventory agency, its teams support the European Commission on a wide variety of policy studies.

Project manager Sabino del Vento added, “The entire update process proved a great opportunity to work with project partners and stakeholders across Europe on the development of what I am confident is the most comprehensive air pollution inventory guidance ever. We look forward to supporting our clients, both new and old, in the application of new techniques and methods to their own inventory challenges.”