National greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory systems are complex but critical for meeting international reporting requirements and informing domestic low-carbon strategies and goals. This paper uses examples from five countries to discuss emerging good practices for the development of sustainable national GHG inventory systems in non-Annex I countries. The experiences described here may help other non-Annex I countries grappling with national GHG inventory management concerns and capacity constraints.

Key Findings

National greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories provide fundamental data to inform domestic and global action on climate change. However, many non-Annex I countries do not yet have the necessary capacity to produce regular inventories of their GHG emissions. With new reporting requirements under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) set to take effect in 2014 and a variety of planned domestic GHG mitigation goals, non-Annex I countries are looking to build capacity to support more sustainable and robust systems for national GHG inventory reporting. Drawing upon case studies authored by inventory experts from Brazil, Colombia, India, Mexico, and South Africa, this paper highlights seven emerging good practices that these countries have used to develop capacity and improve and sustain their national GHG inventory systems, specifically:

  • sustained institutional arrangements
  • identification and enabling of a lead agency to manage the national GHG inventory process
  • sectoral coordinating institutions with well-defined roles, responsibilities, and processes
  • detailed institutional mandates and data-sharing agreements that include work schedules
  • processes to archive inventory information and retain institutional memory
  • sufficient, well managed, and sustained financial resources
  • an iterative approach to improving the national GHG inventory system