Your location: Home > GHG Data > Online Help > Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


  1. What is the UNFCCC GHG data interface?
  2. What do the GHG data interface contain?
  3. What are the sources of the GHG data presented?
  4. What are the different elements of the GHG data interface?
  5. Why aren't data available for all Parties and for all years?
  6. How often are the GHG data updated?
  7. Do you have estimates for historical and projected global GHG emissions, i.e., emissions for the whole world?
  8. Do Parties' data on national GHG emissions/removals under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol cover the same geographical area?
  9. What are the definitions of the categories/sources for the reported data?
  10. What are the definitions of activity data, an emission factor and an implied emission factor?
  11. What is the definition of the GDP?
  12. What is "CO2 equivalent"?
  13. What global warming potential (GWP) values do Parties use when they report their GHG inventory data?
  14. What are the most widely used units of measurement for GHG emissions and what are their conversion factors?
  15. How are comparison ratios calculated?
  16. How can I access activity data, implied emission factor, population and GDP data on the data interface?
  17. In what format are the data available?
  18. Is there a limit to the data that can be displayed on-screen?
  19. Can I see what data were reported by each country?
  20. What kind of internet browser do you need to run the online GHG data interface?
  21. Can I obtain a CD or a downloadable full version of the data for off-line use?

 

What is the UNFCCC GHG data interface?
The UNFCCC GHG data interface is a simple but powerful and user-friendly online tool that is designed to provide access to, search and sort available GHG inventory data submitted by countries that are Parties to the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol.

What do the GHG data interface contain?
Two different sets of data are made available on the data interface: one is data under the Convention, and the other is data under the Kyoto Protocol.

Under the Convention, data include anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of the six principal GHGs (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulphur hexafluoride) that are not controlled by the Montreal Protocol. The data also include activity data and implied emission factors by gas for all source categories. The GHG emission inventories are developed by Parties using comparable methodologies agreed upon by the Conference of Parties. All the Parties base their GHG emission inventories on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Revised Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (1996), IPCC Good Practice Guidance and Uncertainty Management in National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (2000) and IPCC Good Practice Guidance on Land Use, Land-use Change and Forestry (2003). In addition, the GHG data interface also includes data on population, gross domestic product (GDP) and country area.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, data include GHG emissions from sources included in Annex A of the Kyoto Protocol, net emissions/removals form LULUCF activities under Article 3.3 and 3.4 of the Kyoto Protocol, and holdings of Kyoto Protocol units.

What are the sources of the GHG data presented?
The GHG data are data officially reported by Parties to the UNFCCC. For non-Annex I Parties, the data are taken from their national communications, and for Annex I Parties, from their annual GHG inventory submissions. The exact sources of data are provided here. The population data are provided by the Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations through the Common Database of the United Nations Statistics Division. The source of the GDP (at market prices, constant 2005 US$) data is the World Bank. The population and GDP data are displayed on the GHG data interface with kind permission of the United Nations and the World Bank; the United Nations and the World Bank have regulations concerning the use of their data and these organizations must be consulted before downloading population and GDP data for further use. The data on country area were obtained from the Statistical Database maintained by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

What are the different elements of the GHG data interface?
The main elements of the interface are:

  1. GHG data - UNFCCC: this page is an entry to the UNFCCC GHG data interface which provides access to the most recent GHG data reported by countries that are Parties to the Climate Change Convention
    • Time series - Annex I
    • GHG profiles
    • Detailed data by Party
    • Comparisons by gas
    • Comparisons by category
    • Flexible queries
    • User-defined indicators
    • Global map - Annex I
  2. KP data - UNFCCC: this is a page with GHG data relating specifically to the Kyoto Protocol; the data are as reported by Annex I Parties that are also Parties to the Kyoto Protocol
    • Base year data
    • Compilation and accounting reports
    • Compilation and accounting data
  3. GHG data - non-UNFCCC: this page provides links to the web sites of various organizations that also collect, estimate and/or disseminate data on GHG emissions/removals
  4. Online help: the help page contains extensive explanatory information to assist the user in finding the right GHG data
    • Frequently Asked Questions
    • Data interface help
    • Notes on GHG data
  5. Contact: this page suggests an e-mail address that can be used to contact the UNFCCC secretariat for questions, clarifications or more information relating to GHG data.

To see what data are provided under each element and what element may better serve your purposes, click here.

Why aren't data available for all Parties and for all years?
The data published on this site correspond to the data reported by Parties according to the reporting requirement defined under the Climate Change Convention. In accordance with the reporting requirements, Annex I Parties are required to submit the GHG inventories every year while non-Annex I Parties submit information on the GHG emissions/removals as a part of the national communications which are submitted only periodically.

How often are the GHG data updated?
The information presented on this website is updated three times a year: the first update is released in March to include resubmissions of Annex I GHG inventories for the previous year; the second one (which is the major update) in June/July to provide access to data from the annual submission of Annex I GHG inventories due by 15 April; the third update in October/November to include changes in Annex I data, if any. Non-Annex I GHG data are reported in national communications, which are submitted at different points in time. Therefore, along with the update of Annex I Parties' data, available non-Annex I data are updated as well. The data from external sources, such as population, GDP and country area, are revised during the major update (June/July), provided that they have been revised by the United Nations and the World Bank.

Do you have estimates for historical and projected global GHG emissions, i.e., emissions for the whole world?
The UNFCCC secretariat does not collect or estimate GHG emissions for the world in total. The reason is that, according to the reporting requirements under the Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol, the format and coverage of GHG data are different for Annex I Parties to the Convention (or the so-called "industrialized" countries) and non-Annex I Parties ("developing countries"), and therefore we are not able to calculate a value for the world total accurately. Estimates for global emissions are made by some other organizations (such as the International Energy Agency) and they can be found at their websites, see a list of non-UNFCCC sources of GHG data here.

Do Parties' data on national GHG emissions/removals under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol cover the same geographical area?
For most of the Parties, the geographical coverage for the inventory submissions are the same. However, for three Parties, the coverage is as follows:

Denmark:

  • The mainland Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands for the Convention
  • The mainland Denmark and Greenland for the Kyoto Protocol

European Union:

  • The 28 member States of the EU (EU-28) for the Convention
  • The 15 member States of the EU prior to May 2004 (EU-15) for the Kyoto Protocol

France:

  • The Metropolitan France, overseas departments (Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guyana and Réunion), overseas collectivities (Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Mayotte, French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna) and New Caledonia for the Convention
  • The Metropolitan France and the overseas departments for the Kyoto Protocol

What are the definitions of the categories/sources for the reported data?
The emissions data are in accordance with the source categories of the Revised IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (1996). The definitions for major categories are provided here.

What are the definitions of activity data, an emission factor and an implied emission factor?
Activity data, according to the Revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, are defined as data on the magnitude of human activity resulting in emissions or removals taking place during a given period of time.

An emission factor is defined as the average emission rate of a given GHG for a given source, relative to units of activity.

An implied emission factor is defined as emissions divided by the relevant measure of activity:
IEF = Emissions / Activity data

For source/sink categories that are composed of several subcategories, the emissions and activity data in the formula above are summed up across all subcategories. Hence, the implied emission factors are generally not equivalent to the emission factors used to calculate emission estimates, but are average values that could be used, with caution, in data comparisons. For information on actual emission factors, the latest national inventory report for the relevant Party should be consulted.

What is the definition of the GDP?
According to the World Bank, gross domestic product (GDP) is defined as the measure of the total output of goods and services for final use occurring within the domestic territory of a given country, regardless of the allocation to domestic and foreign claims.

Gross domestic product at purchaser values (market prices) is the sum of gross value added by all resident and non-resident producers in the economy plus any taxes and minus any subsidies not included in the value of the products. It is calculated without making deductions for depreciation of fabricated assets or for depletion and degradation of natural resources. National currency GDP is converted into U.S. dollars at the relevant year's conversion rate.

(Note: The definition is reproduced from the Technical Notes on Country At a Glance data interface of the World Bank. The original definition can be accessed at this link: http://go.worldbank.org/NM88P907Q0)

What is "CO2 equivalent"?
GHG emissions/removals can be expressed either in physical units (such as grams, tonnes, etc.) or in terms of CO2 equivalent (grams CO2 equivalent, tonnes CO2 equivalent, etc.). The conversion factor from physical units to CO2 equivalent is the GWP of the corresponding GHG. If X Gg of CH4 is to be expressed in terms of CO2 equivalent, then it is multiplied by 21, which is GWP of CH4 over 100 years timescale.

What global warming potential (GWP) values do Parties use when they report their GHG inventory data?
A table with the values is provided here.

What are the most widely used units of measurement for GHG emissions and what are their conversion factors?
The most widely used units and conversion factors are:
106 g = 1000 kg = 1 tonne = 1 Mg
109 g = 1 Gg = 1 kt
1012 g = 1 Tg = 1 Mt
1015 g = 1 Pg = 1 Gt

How are comparison ratios calculated?
In the Comparisons by gas and Comparisons by category modules, the percentage differences are calculated as follows:

  1. The difference between selected years for a Party is equal to:
    (Year2/Year 1 - 1)*100

  2. The difference between selected Parties for a particular year equals:
    (Party2/Party1 - 1)*100

How can I access activity data, implied emission factor, population and GDP data on the data interface?
Such data are provided through the "Flexible queries" section. Click here to access the "Flexible queries" section.

In what format are the data available?
The data interface presents GHG data in tabular and graphical forms. Many tables are also available as Excel spreadsheets. In the part with dynamic queries, all data can be exported in Excel, CSV and PDF/HTML formats.

Is there a limit to the data that can be displayed on-screen?
There is a vast amount of data to be managed by the GHG database. In order to be able to serve many users in parallel with acceptable response time, the data display is currently limited to 5,000 table cells. A message will be displayed if you choose a combination that would lead to more table cells. This limitation depends mostly on the performance parameters of the hardware equipment used in the UNFCCC secretariat and it can be reconsidered if more powerful equipment becomes available.

Can I see what data were reported by each country?
The original national GHG inventory submissions are available on the UNFCCC website for Annex I Parties here and for non-Annex I Parties here (for national communications) and here (for other non-Annex I data submissions).

What kind of internet browser do you need to run the online GHG data interface?
The online GHG data interface has been tested with Internet Explorer version 6.0 and/or higher and Mozilla Firefox version 2.0 and/or higher. It is required that your browser's JavaScript option be turned on.

Can I obtain a CD or a downloadable full version of the data for off-line use?
An off-line tool, the UNFCCC Locator, can be provided by request to national UNFCCC focal points. At present, the Locator contains data for Annex I Parties only. To obtain the tool, please contact your UNFCCC national focal point.