Inventory reporting of livestock emissions: the impact of the IPCC 1996 and 2006 Guidelines

Livestock sector is a major contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) and nitrogen (N) emissions and efforts are being made to reduce these emissions. National emission inventories are the main tool for reporting emissions.

They have to be consistent, comparable, complete, accurate and transparent. The quality of emission inventories is affected by the reporting methodology, emission factors and knowledge of individual sources. In this paper, we investigate the effects of moving from the 1996 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines on the emission estimates from the livestock sector. With Austria as a case study, we estimate the emissions according to the two guidelines, revealing marked changes in emission estimates from different source categories resulting from changes in the applied methodology. We further investigate the implications of these methodology changes for the potential implementation of mitigation measures.

We also include an outlook on the 2019 IPCC Refinement and its possible effects on livestock emissions estimates. Emission inventory reports are a potent tool to show the effect of mitigation measures and the methodology prescribed in inventory guidelines will have a distinct effect on the selection of mitigation measures.