No Good Decisions Without Good Data: Climate, Policymaking, and the Critical Role of Science


“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”. 

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”. This concept is also true within the context of climate policy, where the achievement of the objectives of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is dependent on the ability of the international community to accurately measure greenhouse gas (GHG) emission trends and, consequently, to alter these trends.

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emission inventories represent the link between national and international political actions on climate change, and climate and environmental sciences. Research communities and inventory agencies have approached the problem of climate change from different angles and by using terminologies, metrics, rules and approaches that do not always match. This is particularly true dealing with “Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry” (LULUCF), representing about 25% of the emissions reductions pledged by countries in their National Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement. This sector is one of the most challenging among the inventory sectors to deal with, mainly because of high level of complexity of its carbon dynamics and the difficulties in disaggregating the fluxes between those caused by natural and anthropogenic processes.

The study led by the CMCC Foundation Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC) and recently published in Environmental Science and Policy facilitate the understanding by research communities of the current (UNFCCC) and future (under the Paris Agreement) reporting requirements, while identifying the main issues and topics that should be considered when targeting improvement of the GHG inventory.

“Our research”, explains Lucia Perugini, CMCC scientist and first author of the study, “aims to build bridges between research community and inventory agencies. Specifically, it provides an overview of the current and future GHG reporting and verification requirements under the Paris Agreement, identifying how and where the research community can provide an effective contribution (providing inputs, data, solutions, methodologies) to support GHG inventory agencies and, therefore, towards the implementation of the Paris Agreement.”

Read more at CMCC Foundation - Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change

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