Independent, reliable and verifiable information on Greenhouse gas emissions

The CarboCount Project will apply novel accounting techniques to vastly improve the accuracy of regional GHG observations. As well as answering the needs expressed by potential users, CarboCount’ s innovative accounting methodology will be developed into marketable products for measuring greenhouse gases and sinks.

The climate change adaptation issue

Whilst our scientific understanding of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is increasing, our capacity to respond to the problem through mitigation and adaptation has not kept up. monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) is an essential element of driving emissions reductions; however progress is currently limited by the lack of appropriate MRV tools. There is an increasing demand for methods that can provide independent, reliable and verifiable information on GHG emissions at a regional level. Currently, there are no available methods that provide sufficient accuracy on the market. Existing reports on GHG emission and sinks are largely based on ‘bottom up’ inventories, but this approach generates high uncertainties due to the significant variability in values, as well as errors in activity data and emissions factors.

The project solution

CarboCount intends to combine locally collected atmospheric GHG concentration measurements with remotely sense data to innovate MRV’s role in regional climate change mitigation. As the atmosphere is a fast but incomplete mixer of surface emissions this methodology has the potential to vastly improve emissions inventories. The current network of GHG measurement stations, which are coordinated by the ICOS, is relatively sparse and focuses on research purposes. A denser observation network, developed by two French regional demonstrators (Paris and Les Landes forest area in South-Western France), will provide considerably improved top-down inventories of true emissions and sinks. By applying atmospheric GHG accounting at the two test sites CarboCount partners will jointly develop an accurate picture of GHG budgets through atmospheric measurements. Hence, CarboCount could constitute an important step towards a first generation model for a regional decision making relating to carbon emissions and sinks, and it is similarly hoped that its methodology can be replicated to improve MRV inventories in other regions.

The role of Climate-KIC

The CarboCount project represents a considerable investment in terms of research and development from SME NOVELTIS as well as the research labs LSCE and INRA. And whilst the project is still in the concept demonstration phase it is already clear that Climate-KIC has been critical in supporting the long term vision which CarboCount has, providing both the potential contacts and financial assistance necessary to develop this into highly innovative and marketable product.

“Climate KIC has helped to bring together the different members of the consortium and thus allowed fruitful partnership, helping us to balance knowledge production and marketable ambition effectively. Climate KIC was already important during the concept demonstration phase to establish a first network of contacts with potential clients. These contacts continue to be important in order to develop a service best suited to the stakeholders’ needs.” LSCE/IPSL