Alternative sources of information

Despite its detailed guidelines, structures for capacity enhancement, and the possibility of adaptive learning, the climate verification system will be more effective if it can draw upon other sources of reliable data in addition to national reports. The Expert Review Teams are not explicitly obliged to seek and consider inputs from civil society organizations, but their mandate to provide a 'thorough and comprehensive' assessment suggests that they will do so. There are also clear indications that the opportunities in the Marrakesh Accords for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and outside experts to provide relevant factual and technical information to the relevant branch of the Compliance Committee will actually be used.14 Andresen and Gulbrandsen show in Chapter 8 that several large environmental organizations are determined to monitor the climate behaviour of key states and disseminate pertinent information by the means and channels available to them. Not only environmental organizations are likely to make use of these procedural openings; industrial companies, including those associated with production and distribution of fossil fuels, also have the incentive and the resources to feed the system with relevant information (see Chapter 9 by Skjsrseth).

A more radical way to obtain independent checks on national reports - inverse modelling - has been used with considerable success in the management of trans-boundary air pollution. Inverse modelling is based on numerical transport models, observations of atmospheric concentrations and data on emissions from anthropogenic and natural sources (see Chapter 4 by Berntsen and associates). However, the multitude of sources and sinks for greenhouse gases, and the lack of representative measurements, limits the potential of this approach in the climate context, at least with the current density of the observational network. While at present inverse modelling cannot demonstrate with sufficient certainty that emissions from a given country are higher than those reported in its inventory, Berntsen and associates argue in Chapter 4 that these techniques may supplement the Marrakesh verification system by identifying cases that warrant closer examination.

Guide to Alternative Fuels

Guide to Alternative Fuels

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