Improving reporting of national greenhouse gas emissions from forest fires for emission reduction benefits: An example from Australia

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Environmental Science and Policy, 2019, 94 pp. 49 - 62
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© 2018 Elsevier Ltd Forest fires are a significant contributor to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Accurate reporting of GHG emissions from forest fires requires development of detailed methodologies and country specific data for estimating emissions. In recent years, Australia has updated its national methodology for reporting GHG emissions from fires on temperate forested lands, using a Tier 2 approach of the 2006 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. This involved refinement of the equation for estimating GHG emissions from fires provided in the Guidance, and the revision of country specific data which was derived from a comprehensive literature review. The refinements were key to transparent reporting and evaluation of the climatic impacts of mitigation actions such as forest fire management. In this paper we describe the steps required to develop a Tier 2 method in reporting fire emissions using this Australian example, the lessons learnt, and the steps required to reduce uncertainties in estimates. This paper may assist other countries seeking to estimate and report GHG emissions from forest fires by moving from the default Tier 1 method to Tier 2 using country-specific information.
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