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GAO Report: Climate Change - The Quality, Comparability, and Review of Emissions Inventories Vary Between Developed and Developing Nations

Published July 2010

This General Accounting Office (GAO) report on Climate Change, "The Quality, Comparability, and Review of Emissions Inventories Vary Between Developed and Developing Nations", was published in July 2010.

The report states, "Nations that are Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change periodically submit inventories estimating their greenhouse gas emissions. The Convention Secretariat runs a review process to evaluate inventories from 41 "Annex I" nations, which are mostly economically developed nations. The 153 "non-Annex I" nations are generally less economically developed and have less stringent inventory reporting guidelines. The Department of State (State) represents the United States in international climate change negotiations. GAO was asked to report on (1) what is known about the comparability and quality of inventories and barriers, if any, to improvement; (2) what is known about the strengths and limits of the inventory review process; and (3) views of experts on implications for current and future international agreements to reduce emissions. GAO analyzed inventory reviews and inventories from the seven highest-emitting Annex I nations and seven of the highest emitting non-Annex I nations. GAO also selected and interviewed experts.

What GAO Recommends: GAO recommends that the Secretary of State work with other Parties to the Convention to (1) continue encouraging non-Annex I Parties to improve their inventories and (2) strengthen the inventory review process's quality assurance framework. State agreed with GAO's findings and recommendations."