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FAO + European Union

Investing in a sustainable and food secure future









Last updated date 05/03/2021 (data updated), see corrigendum


​FAO. 2021. FAO + European Union. Investing in a sustainable and food secure future. Rome.


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    Article
    The consolidated European synthesis of CO2 emissions and removals for the European Union and United Kingdom: 1990–2018 2021
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    Reliable quantification of the sources and sinks of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), including that of their trends and uncertainties, is essential to monitoring the progress in mitigating anthropogenic emissions under the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. This study provides a consolidated synthesis of estimates for all anthropogenic and natural sources and sinks of CO2 for the European Union and UK (EU27 + UK), derived from a combination of state-of-the-art bottom-up (BU) and top-down (TD) data sources and models. Given the wide scope of the work and the variety of datasets involved, this study focuses on identifying essential questions which need to be answered to properly understand the differences between various datasets, in particular with regards to the less-well-characterized fluxes from managed ecosystems. The work integrates recent emission inventory data, process-based ecosystem model results, data-driven sector model results and inverse modeling estimates over the period 1990–2018. BU and TD products are compared with European national greenhouse gas inventories (NGHGIs) reported under the UNFCCC in 2019, aiming to assess and understand the differences between approaches. For the uncertainties in NGHGIs, we used the standard deviation obtained by varying parameters of inventory calculations, reported by the member states following the IPCC Guidelines. Variation in estimates produced with other methods, like atmospheric inversion models (TD) or spatially disaggregated inventory datasets (BU), arises from diverse sources including within-model uncertainty related to parameterization as well as structural differences between models. In comparing NGHGIs with other approaches, a key source of uncertainty is that related to different system boundaries and emission categories (CO2 fossil) and the use of different land use definitions for reporting emissions from land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) activities (CO2 land). At the EU27 + UK level, the NGHGI (2019) fossil CO2 emissions (including cement production) account for 2624 Tg CO2 in 2014 while all the other seven bottom-up sources are consistent with the NGHGIs and report a mean of 2588 (± 463 Tg CO2). The inversion reports 2700 Tg CO2 (± 480 Tg CO2), which is well in line with the national inventories. Over 2011–2015, the CO2 land sources and sinks from NGHGI estimates report −90 Tg C yr−1 ±  30 Tg C yr−1 while all other BU approaches report a mean sink of −98 Tg C yr−1 (± 362 Tg of C from dynamic global vegetation models only).
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    The consolidated European synthesis of CH4 and N2O emissions for the European Union and United Kingdom: 1990–2017 2021
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    Reliable quantification of the sources and sinks of greenhouse gases, together with trends and uncertainties, is essential to monitoring the progress in mitigating anthropogenic emissions under the Paris Agreement. This study provides a consolidated synthesis of CH4 and N2O emissions with consistently derived state-of-the-art bottom-up (BU) and top-down (TD) data sources for the European Union and UK (EU27 + UK). We integrate recent emission inventory data, ecosystem process-based model results and inverse modeling estimates over the period 1990–2017. BU and TD products are compared with European national greenhouse gas inventories (NGHGIs) reported to the UN climate convention UNFCCC secretariat in 2019. For uncertainties, we used for NGHGIs the standard deviation obtained by varying parameters of inventory calculations, reported by the member states (MSs) following the recommendations of the IPCC Guidelines. For atmospheric inversion models (TD) or other inventory datasets (BU), we defined uncertainties from the spread between different model estimates or model-specific uncertainties when reported. In comparing NGHGIs with other approaches, a key source of bias is the activities included, e.g., anthropogenic versus anthropogenic plus natural fluxes. In inversions, the separation between anthropogenic and natural emissions is sensitive to the geospatial prior distribution of emissions. Over the 2011–2015 period, which is the common denominator of data availability between all sources, the anthropogenic BU approaches are directly comparable, reporting mean emissions of 20.8 Tg CH4 yr−1 (EDGAR v5.0) and 19.0 Tg CH4 yr−1 (GAINS), consistent with the NGHGI estimates of 18.9 ± 1.7 Tg CH4 yr−1. The estimates of TD total inversions give higher emission estimates, as they also include natural emissions. Over the same period regional TD inversions with higher-resolution atmospheric transport models give a mean emission of 28.8 Tg CH4 yr−1. Coarser-resolution global TD inversions are consistent with regional TD inversions, for global inversions with GOSAT satellite data (23.3 Tg CH4 yr−1) and surface network (24.4 Tg CH4 yr−1). The magnitude of natural peatland emissions from the JSBACH–HIMMELI model, natural rivers and lakes emissions, and geological sources together account for the gap between NGHGIs and inversions and account for 5.2 Tg CH4 yr−1. For N2O emissions, over the 2011–2015 period, both BU approaches (EDGAR v5.0 and GAINS) give a mean value of anthropogenic emissions of 0.8 and 0.9 Tg N2O yr−1, respectively, agreeing with the NGHGI data (0.9 ± 0.6 Tg N2O yr−1).
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    Opportunities to mainstream land consolidation in rural development programmes of the European Union 2008
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    Land consolidation can be an important tool for increasing agricultural competitiveness and improving rural conditions. Farmers can become more competitive when they decrease fragmentation and increase the size of their farms, and rural communities can benefit when consolidation projects include components to improve local infrastructure and the environment. At the national level, land consolidation can help to develop the agricultural and other sectors that comprise the rural economy, and to im prove rural conditions by balancing the interests of agriculture, transportation, the environment, recreation, cultural heritage and tourism. Land consolidation can be applied differently in different situations, but regardless of the context, it can be used to introduce participatory and integrated cross-sector approaches into rural development. The European Union (EU) has included land consolidation as a measure of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). This new instrume nt was introduced to finance rural development policy in Member States for the period of 200713, and is intended to improve the competitiveness of agriculture and forestry, the environment and the countryside, and the quality of life and diversification of the rural economy. New instruments were also introduced to provide assistance to countries that are not EU Members. The Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA) provides targeted assistance to candidate and potential candidate countries, while the E uropean Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) provides financial support to other neighbouring countries. These instruments offer opportunities for some support to land consolidation. This publication addresses the policy implications of using the new instruments to support land consolidation. It describes the available funding options and makes recommendations for including land consolidation within a rural development programme.

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