Air emissions accounts for greenhouse gases by NACE Rev. 2 activity - quarterly data (env_ac_aigg_q)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)

For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT


1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

1.2. Contact organisation unit

E2: Environmental statistics and accounts; sustainable development

1.5. Contact mail address

2920 Luxembourg, LUXEMBOURG

2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 15/11/2022
2.2. Metadata last posted 15/11/2022
2.3. Metadata last update 15/11/2022

3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

This metadata refers to the dataset Air emissions accounts for greenhouse gases by NACE Rev. 2 activity - quarterly data.

This dataset reports greenhouse gases emissions into the atmosphere due to economic activities of resident units (businesses, families and government). Those emissions are measured according to the international System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA).

The greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and fluorinated gases. The emissions are broken down by emitter categories related to the NACE Rev.2 classification of economic activities.

The quarterly estimates are modelled based on annual environmental accounting data, see 18.5 below.

3.2. Classification system

The dataset Air emissions accounts for greenhouse gases by NACE Rev. 2 activity - quarterly data [env_ac_aigg_q] has five dimensions:

1) Air pollutant (AIRPOL): Data are estimated for aggregated greenhouse gases (CO2, N2O in CO2 equivalent, CH4 in CO2 equivalent, HFC in CO2 equivalent, PFC in CO2 equivalent, SF6 in CO2 equivalent, NF3 in CO2 equivalent).

2) Geopolitical entity (GEO): European Union – 27 countries and EU Member States (for all the reference periods published)

3) Classification of economic activities - NACE rev.2 (NACE_R2): Data are published broken down by NACE classification of economic activities.

4) Unit (UNIT): The greenhouse gas emissions are measured in thousand tonnes of CO2 equivalents (THS_T), in tonnes per habitants (T_HAB) as well as in percentage change compared to same period in previous year (PCH_SM)

5) Period of time (TIME): Quarterly data, starting from 2010Q1

3.3. Coverage - sector

Greenhouse gases emitted by the entire national economy are covered, see also 3.7.

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

Air emissions accounts record the flows of residual gaseous emitted by resident units and flowing into the atmosphere.

Air emissions accounts record emissions arising from the activities of all resident units (=economic activities), regardless of where these emissions actually occur geographically. Air emissions accounts have the same system boundaries as the European System of Accounts and the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting, which are based on the same residence principle, see annex.

Natural flows of residual gaseous are excluded e.g. volcanos, forest fires. Also excluded are air emissions arising from land use, land use changes and forestry as well as any indirect emissions.

Reference documents on environmental accounts (including SEEA CF 2012)
3.5. Statistical unit

Greenhouse gas emissions are measured in thousand tonnes of CO2 equivalents.

3.6. Statistical population

The population is the national economy, i.e. the resident economic units and households as defined in SEEA CF 2012 and National Accounts (ESA).

3.7. Reference area

The reference area is the economic territory as defined in SEEA CF 2012 and National Accounts (ESA). A unit is said to be a resident unit of a country when it has a centre of economic interest in the economic territory of that country, that is, when it engages for an extended period (1 year or more) in economic activities in that territory.

By following this residence principle, the Air Emission Accounts record emissions from resident units' activities, regardless where they occur. This is the main conceptual difference to emission inventories for greenhouse gases (UNFCCC). 

3.8. Coverage - Time

Data are quarterly. In NACE Rev. 2 breakdown complete time series are available since the first quarter of 2010.

3.9. Base period

Not applicable.

4. Unit of measure Top

Data are presented in thousand tonnes of CO2 equivalents (THS_T), in tonnes per habitants (T_HAB), as well as a percentage change compared to same period in previous year (PCH_SM). Quarterly data are not seasonally adjusted.

5. Reference Period Top

The data refer to the quarters of the calendar year.

6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

Annual air emissions accounts are legally covered by Regulation (EC) No. 691/2011 on European environmental economic accounts. Member States produce annual estimates and transmit them to Eurostat 21 months after the end of the reference year. Eurostat publishes them after validation.

With a view to improve timeliness and frequency, Eurostat produces model-based quarterly estimates based on the annual accounts. For details on the estimation method, see 18.5 below.

The environmental economic accounts are fully in accordance with internationally agreed concepts and definitions set out in the system of environmental economic accounting 2012 – central framework (SEEA CF 2012, see annex). The SEEA CF is a multi-purpose conceptual framework to report the interactions between the environment and the economy.

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

Not applicable.

7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

In case there are confidential data, they are flagged "confidential" and not published.

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

Release dates are pre-announced in Eurostat’s release calendar.

8.2. Release calendar access

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website (see item 10 - 'Accessibility and clarity') respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.

Data are disseminated simultaneously to all interested parties through a database update and on Eurostat's website.

9. Frequency of dissemination Top

Data are disseminated quarterly.

10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

Release dates of news items are pre-announced in Eurostat's release calendar.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Data are published in news articles (

Related Statistics Explained articles:

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

The online database is available free of charge here:


10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Not applicable.

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Not applicable.

10.6. Documentation on methodology

The methodological note on quarterly GHG estimates is available in the Annex.

Eurostat’s Estimates of Quarterly Greenhouse Gas Emissions Accounts - Methodological note
10.7. Quality management - documentation

Quality management is addressed in the methodological note in the Annex.

Eurostat’s Estimates of Quarterly Greenhouse Gas Emissions Accounts - Methodological note

11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

The estimation model has been applied successfully over the years in other domains, e.g. quarterly national accounts. The estimation method is documented and transparent, see technical note in the Annex. The estimation error is monitored, see 11.2. 

11.2. Quality management - assessment

The estimation error is monitored. This error is calculated as follows: the estimation method is simulated for the most recent reference year for which annual air emissions accounts are available. This simulated quarterly estimates are aggregated to annual data and compared with the actual available annual data. The error is reported in percentage points.

12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

Air emissions are relevant for monitoring the interaction between the economy and the environment, in particular in a context of global climate change. Annual air emission accounts data are also used in modelling, including carbon footprint.

The relevance of air emission accounts is enhanced by using a conceptual framework consistent with National Accounts, which allows, e.g. to put in relation with estimates of production, value added, employment, GDP, etc.

The users include policy makers in environmental ministries, environmental organisations, students and interested citizens.

The policy context is set here:

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

There are no systematic studies of user satisfaction. Eurostat has regular hearings with European policymakers and contacts with the research community and other stakeholders to monitor the relevance of the statistics produced and identify new priorities.

12.3. Completeness

Data are complete, meaning they encompass all the sectors of the economy and the households. 

13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

The overall accuracy is considered to be good.

13.2. Sampling error

Not applicable to statistical accounts.

13.3. Non-sampling error

Not applicable to statistical accounts.

14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

Eurostat publishes the data less than 5 months after the reference period.

14.2. Punctuality

Release dates are pre-announced in Eurostat’s release calendar.

15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

Not applicable.

15.2. Comparability - over time

The comparability over time is good due to clear statistical concepts and definitions. 

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

The data are coherent with principles, definitions and concepts in National Accounts (ESA - European System of Accounts) and Environmental Accounting (SEEA - System of Environmental-Economic Accounting).

Quarterly air emissions accounts are benchmarked to annual air emissions accounts, i.e. they are coherent by construction.

Air emissions accounts and physical energy flow accounts employ the same groupings of elementary economic units (NACE Rev. 2 activities) as the ESA supply and use tables. This coherence is important with regards to integrated analyses – e.g. applying Leontief-type input-output analysis.

15.4. Coherence - internal

The internal coherence is very high, ensured by the accounting framework.

16. Cost and Burden Top

The costs and burden to produce and release the data is about 14 person-days for Eurostat.

17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

Every quarter Eurostat publishes the complete time series starting in 2010 Q1, which may lead to revisions of data previously published. Data are not revised in between quarterly releases.

17.2. Data revision - practice

Same as in 17.1.

18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

The main data sources are annual air emissions accounts and a set of short-term predictors, see 18.5.

18.2. Frequency of data collection

Data are estimated quarterly.

18.3. Data collection

Annual air emissions accounts data are regulated by Regulation (EC) No. 691/2011 on European environmental economic accounts. The quarterly estimates are not based on a data collection but a model, based on the annual accounts.

18.4. Data validation

The quarterly estimates are validated with the annual data based on Regulation (EU) No 691/2011, which become available later.

18.5. Data compilation

The quarterly GHG estimates are modelled. For details see the methodological note in the Annex.

Eurostat’s Estimates of Quarterly Greenhouse Gas Emissions Accounts - Methodological note
18.6. Adjustment

The quarterly data are not seasonally adjusted nor adjusted for weather nor trading days in the quarter. 

19. Comment Top

Not applicable.

Related metadata Top

Annexes Top
Reference documents on environmental accounts (including SEEA CF 2012)
Eurostat’s Estimates of Quarterly Greenhouse Gas Emissions Accounts - Methodological note