Azione per il clima

Emissions monitoring & reporting

Policy

As parties to the UNFCCC, its Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement, the EU and its member countries are required to report to the UN:

  • annually on their greenhouse gas emissions ('greenhouse gas inventories');
  • regularly on their climate policies and measures and progress towards the targets ('biennial reports' and 'national communications').

Annual reporting

All EU countries are required to monitor their emissions under the EU's Climate Monitoring Mechanism, which sets the EU's own internal reporting rules based on internationally agreed obligations.

The reporting covers:

  • emissions of seven greenhouse gases (the greenhouse gas inventory) from all sectors: energy, industrial processes, land use, land use change & forestry (LULUCF), waste, agriculture, etc.
  • projections, policies & measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions
  • national measures to adapt to climate change
  • low-carbon development strategies
  • financial & technical support to developing countries, and similar commitments
  • national governments' use of revenues from the auctioning of allowances in the EU emissions trading system (they have committed to spend at least half of these revenues on climate measures in the EU and abroad)

Climate Monitoring Mechanism: legislation

Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action

The Climate Monitoring Mechanism Regulation is the relevant framework until 1 January 2021, but its key reporting provisions still apply for the reporting for the years 2019 and 2020, which takes place in 2021 and 2022, respectively. From then onwards, it is repealed and replaced by the Regulation on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action.

Similarly, the two Regulations on national climate reporting and requirements for the EU inventory systems are repealed and replaced accordingly by:

  • Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1208 – requirements for national reporting
  • Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/1044 – requirements for the EU inventory systems under Regulation on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action including setting out the inventory guidelines and defining values for the global warming potentials based on the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report.

Greenhouse gas emissions inventories

The EU's greenhouse gas emissions inventory is prepared by the European Environment Agency on behalf of the Commission and submitted to the UNFCCC each spring.

The period covered by the inventory starts in 1990 and runs up until 2 years before the current year (e.g. in 2021 the inventories cover emissions up to 2019).

The EU inventory is a compilation of national inventories, based on the emissions reported under the EU Climate Monitoring Mechanism.

UNFCCC regularly reviews the submitted EU inventory.

Early emission estimates

The first glimpse on emissions of the previous year comes from the early estimates of CO 2 emissions from energy use, published by Eurostat around April/May. Those estimates cover only one greenhouse gas and one sector though.

To get more complete data, EU Member States also report annually an approximated greenhouse gas inventory, containing early estimates of total emissions for the previous year, which is normally published in the autumn.

Progress reports on climate action

Under the Climate Monitoring Mechanism, the Commission is required to produce an annual report on progress to the Kyoto and EU targets, covering actual (historic) emissions and projected future emissions for every country. It also includes information on EU policies and measures, climate finance and adaptation. From 2021 onwards, the annual progress reporting takes place in the context of the integrated reporting system of the Governance on the Energy Union and Climate Action Regulation.

At the same time – every autumn – the European Environment Agency publishes a more detailed report on emissions trends and projections.

Regular reporting to the UNFCCC

Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), developed countries are required to submit national communications to the UN every four years, with data on:

  • emissions and removals
  • policies and measures to reduce emissions
  • provision of financial, technological and capacity building support to developing countries
  • other activities undertaken to implement the Convention

Since 2014, developed countries are also required to make a report every two years ('biennial report'), to enhance reporting on mitigation targets and the provision of support in national communications.

2019 - Fourth Biennial Report from the European Union under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

  • Part 1 - Commission Document C(2019)8832 final
  • Part 2 - Commission Staff Working Document SWD(2019)432 final

2017 - Seventh National Communication and Third Biennial Report from the European Union under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

  • 2017 - Third biennial report - Commission Staff Working Document
  • 2017 - Seventh National Communication - Commission Staff Working Document
Documentation

Monitoring mechanism

Monitoring mechanism regulation

Legislative history

Other documents

Greenhouse gas inventories

Climate action progress reports

National Communications and Biennial Reports to the UNFCCC

  • 2019 - Fourth Biennial Report from the European Union under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

    • Part 1 - Commission Document C(2019)8832 final
    • Part 2 - Commission Staff Working Document SWD(2019)432 final

EU registry

Other useful documents

Studies

Studies

Links

Useful links