This report is the final summary report of the project "Social causes of the greenhouse effect ; emissions inventories and options for control", funded by the National Research Programme on Global Air Pollution and Climate Change (NRP) and the Environment Directorate of the Ministry of Housing, Physical Planning and Environment.
In 1990, little was known about national emissions of greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide. Therefore, the project was started in that year to develop a national inventory of the emissions of all greenhouse gases and their causes. The objectives of the project were twofold: supporting the development of a comprehensive Dutch climate policy and the identification of gaps in knowledge about sources of greenhouse gases to support priority setting of the NRP.
The report summarizes the four phases of the project:
- In the first phase, a first national inventory of greenhouse gas emissions was made, capturing carbon dioxide (CO2), chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and the ozone precursors carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC).
- In the second phase, the acquired expertise was used to support the development of Guidelines for National Emissions Inventories by the joint OECD/IPCC programme through workshop organization and participation in the international planning group.
- In the third phase, a detailed analysis was performed of the sources of methane, its current and future emissions and the options for control.
- Finally, a similar analysis was performed for nitrous oxide.
In these studies, it was found that policies not specifically aiming at mitigating climate change, would help to control the emissions of the non-CO2 greenhouse gases. While for methane, national emissions would even decrease because of measures in the livestock management and waste disposal sectors, for nitrous oxide the reductions in agricultural emissions would be outweighed by increases especially in the transportation sector. The project shows that the application of more detailed information leads to differences with the Guidelines, both because of the limited number of source categories in the Guidelines and because of different, locally specific emissions factors.