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IPCC adopts 2013 KP LULUCF supplement


23.10.2013

IES scientist G. Grassi was a coordinating lead author of the 2013 Revised Supplementary Methods and Good Practice Guidance Arising from the Kyoto Protocol (2013 KP LULUCF supplement), which was adopted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) at their 37th Session which was held from 14-17 October 2013 in Georgia. Grassi coordinated the cluster on ‘Forests’, which proposes methods for estimating emissions and removals from afforestation/reforestation, deforestation and forest management. The highly successful IPCC-37 was attended by 229 participants from 92 countries, including representatives from governments, scientific experts and civil society.

Under the Kyoto Protocol (KP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), parties are required to submit annual inventories of their anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) from sources and removals from sinks. At the request of the UNFCCC, the IPCC selected 80 recognised experts (nominated by 26 countries from around the world) to review and update the guidelines and methodologies for estimating anthropogenic GHG emissions and removals from the land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector. This review resulted in the 2013 KP LULUCF Supplement, which was put together in record time to be ready for use in the second commitment period of the KP (2013-2020).

The 2013 KP LULUCF Supplement provides guidance on estimating and reporting anthropogenic emissions and removals, gives advice on achieving transparency and consistency on land identification, and gives guidance on accounting for lands affected by natural disturbances. It is made up of four clusters: 1) General Guidance, 2) Harvested Wood Products (HWP) and treatment of natural disturbances, 3) Forests, and 4) Elective Activities (cropland management, grazing land management, revegetation, and wetland drainage and rewetting). It is structured in two chapters: and introduction and a comprehensive chapter on methods for estimation, measurement, monitoring and reporting of LULUCF activities under Articles 3.3 and 3.4 of the KP. Before publication the Report will undergo final copy editing as well as any error correction as necessary, consistent with the IPCC protocol. Publication of the final report is foreseen in February 2014.

IPCC methodology reports are politically significant for climate negotiations, as they constitute the operating manuals behind certain key political decisions. They are prepared through a stringent iterative process that involves the successful collaboration of scientists, government representatives and other stakeholders. The estimating methods in the 2013 KP LULUCF Supplement are a matter of real consequence, as the results affect compliance with targets under the Kyoto Protocol when used by countries in accounting their GHG emissions and removals.

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