Preparing National Emissions Inventories with US EPA Templates

The Bangladesh Experience
By Joshua Forgotson

Government of Bangladesh inventory experts recently participated in USAID-organized focus group discussions to share practical knowledge and skills, including how to use the US EPA Template Workbook. Individuals from the Government of Bangladesh were informed and inspired through these technical sessions to improve future greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories.

Developing a robust greenhouse gas inventory helps countries meet, track, and report on their international commitment to reduce emissions. Many countries struggle to prepare them, often due to a lack of time, technical staff, or resources.

A recent paper in the RALI Series explores how the Government of Bangladesh used a tool developed by the US EPA, along with support from USAID, to make significant progress in developing a national greenhouse gas inventory.

The US EPA Template Workbook: Developing a National Greenhouse Gas Inventory System

The US EPA workbook offers a start-to-finish structure for preparing a national greenhouse gas inventory. This resource has proven useful to both seasoned inventory experts and new inventory teams with limited experience.

The workbook consists of a series of worksheets that walk users through six key inventory topics:

1)    institutional arrangements
2)    recordkeeping of GHG estimation methods and data selected
3)    quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC)
4)    archiving of inventory inputs and outputs
5)    key category analysis
6)    inventory improvement planning

Case Study: Bangladesh

Bangladesh submitted its Second National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2012. It included a national greenhouse gas inventory. Bangladesh’s inventory team felt that the country’s inventory could benefit from further improvement. First, the data and calculations were not sufficiently archived. Second, many of the emission and removal estimates were based on proxy data as opposed to actual activity data, particularly for the agriculture and land use/land use change and forestry sectors. Third, country-specific emission factors were not used.

To address these concerns, the Government of Bangladesh assembled a team of personnel from national agencies to work with USAID on inventory development. They turned to the US EPA workbook for help. Over the course of several focus group discussions, key inventory team members learned the core concepts elaborated within the US EPA workbook, and thus acquired practical knowledge and skills that would help them prepare the inventory for Bangladesh’s Third National Communication and subsequent reports.

Following these focus group discussions, the Government of Bangladesh created a clear organizational chart and statement of work for all sectors, outlined the tasks and responsibilities of each project management unit, and developed a quality assurance and quality control plan for its next inventory.

To learn more about the US EPA template workbook and the experience of Bangladesh, read the full paper here.

Adaptation, Energy
Strategic Objective
Emissions, Mitigation, Monitoring and Evaluation
Joshua Forgotson headshot

Joshua Forgotson

Joshua Forgotson is a Senior Climate Change and Sustainability Consultant at ICF, a global professional services firm that delivers consulting services and technology solutions in energy, climate change, and other areas. Josh specializes in national and project-level greenhouse gas emission methodologies and inventories, renewable energy, low emission development, energy efficiency, capacity building, and program management. He has supported numerous activities for USAID and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In 2017, he supported the Millennium Challenge Account–Indonesia’s Green Prosperity Project by estimating the greenhouse gas reductions of activities involving reforestation, agroforestry, rice cultivation, nitrogen management, and renewable energy.

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