To face the increase of global warming and its negative impacts, national governments, regional authorities and private stakeholders are enhancing efforts to curve down the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG).
Measuring the effectiveness of GHG emission reduction policies against agreed-upon international targets requires accurate and precise estimates of emissions and their trends. These estimates need to be established and regularly updated using transparent methods, trackable on the basis of international standards.
Funded by the European Commission under the H2020 programme, the Research and Innovation project VERIFY proposed to quantify more accurately carbon stocks and the fluxes of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) across the EU based on independent observations in support of inventories that rely only on statistical data. The same approach has also been tested for US, China and Indonesia, in collaboration with non-EU experts.
Accurate characterisation of the space-time variations of GHG fluxes, separating their anthropogenic and natural components and their drivers, are based on advanced modelling approaches using atmospheric GHG measurements, tracer transport inversions and various arrays of land observations, in-situ and from space.
The improved knowledge of GHG budgets from VERIFY will be used to improve national inventories, in collaboration with national inventory agencies, and to deliver policy-relevant information to track progress of the EU mitigation efforts to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement on climate, in line with international cooperation mechanisms promoted by the WMO, the IPCC and the UNFCCC.