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Harmonizing Greenhouse Gas Reporting from European Forests: Case Examples and Implications for European Union Level Reporting

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Most European countries have signed the United Nations Framework Convention on climate change and its Kyoto Protocol. Because the European Union is a party to the convention just like the individual countries, there is a need for harmonizing emissions reporting. This specifically applies to the Land Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry sector, for which harmonized reporting is complex and generally challenging. For example, parties use a variety of different methods for estimating emissions and removals, ranging from application of default factors to advanced methods adapted to national circumstances, such as ongoing field inventories. In this study, we demonstrate that without harmonization, national definitions and methods lead to inconsistent estimates. Based on case studies in Finland, Germany, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, and Sweden, we conclude that common reference definitions and country-specific bridges are means to harmonize the estimates and make greenhouse gas reporting from forests comparable across countries.
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Keywords: carbon stocks; greenhouse gas emissions; harmonization; methodology

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-06-01

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.782 (Rank 17/64 in forestry)

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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