Aarhus University Seal

No. 189: Denmark's National Inventory Report 2015 and 2016

Nielsen, O.-K., Plejdrup, M.S., Winther, M., Nielsen, M., Gyldenkærne, S., Mikkelsen, M.H., Albrektsen, R., Thomsen, M., Hjelgaard, K., Fauser, P., Bruun, H.G., Johannsen, V.K., Nord-Larsen, T., Vesterdal, L., Møller, I.S., Schou, E., Suadicani, K., Rasmussen, E., Petersen, S.B., Baunbæk, L. & Hansen, M.G. 2016. Denmark's National Inventory Report 2015 and 2016. Emission Inventories 1990-2014 - Submitted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. Aarhus University, DCE –Danish Centre for Environment and Energy, 943pp. Scientific Report from DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy. http://dce2.au.dk/pub/SR189.pdf



ES.1 Background information on greenhouse gas inventories and climate change

According to Decision 13/CP.20 of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, CRF Reporter version 5.0.0 was not functioning in order to enable Annex I Parties to submit their CRF tables for the year 2015. In the same Decision, the Conference of the Parties reiterated that Annex I Parties in 2015 may submit their CRF tables after April 15, but no longer than the corresponding delay in the CRF Reporter availability. "Functioning" software means that the data on the greenhouse emissions/removals are reported accurately both in terms of reporting format tables and XML format.

CRF reporter version 5.14.2 still contains issues in the reporting format tables and XML format in relation to Kyoto Protocol requirements, and it is therefore not yet functioning.

Recalling the Conference of Parties invitation to submit as soon as practically possible, and considering that CRF reporter 5.14.2 allows sufficiently accurate reporting under the UNFCCC (even if minor inconsistencies may still exist in the reporting tables, as per the Release Note accompanying the CRF Reporter), the present report is the official submission for the year 2015 and 2016 under the UNFCCC and under the Kyoto Protocol.

ES.1.1 Reporting

This report is Denmark’s National Inventory Report (NIR) 2015 and 2016 for submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, due April 15, 2016. The report contains detailed information about Denmark’s inventories for all years from 1990 to 2014. The structure of the report is in accordance with the UNFCCC guidelines on reporting and review. The main difference between Denmark’s NIR 2016 report to the European Commission, due March 15, 2016, and this report to UNFCCC is reporting of territories. The NIR 2015/2016 to the EU Commission was for Denmark, while this NIR 2015/2016 to the UNFCCC is for Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The suggested outline provided by the UNFCCC secretariat has been followed to include the necessary information under the Kyoto Protocol. The report includes detailed and complete information on the inventories for all years from year 1990 to the year 2014, in order to ensure transparency.

The annual emission inventories for the years from 1990 to 2014 are reported in the Common Reporting Format (CRF). Within this submission separate CRF’s are available for Denmark (EU), Greenland, the Faroe Islands, for Denmark and Greenland (KP) as well as for Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands (UNFCCC). The CRF spreadsheets contain data on emissions, activity data and implied emission factors for each year. Emission trends are given for each greenhouse gas and for total greenhouse gas emissions in CO2 equivalents.

The issues addressed in this report are: Trends in greenhouse gas emissions, description of each emission category of the CRF, uncertainty estimates, explanations on recalculations, planned improvements and procedure for quality assurance and control. The information presented in Chapters 2-9 and Chapter 11 refers to Denmark (EU) only. Specific information regarding the submission of Greenland and the Faroe Islands is included in Chapter 16 and Annex 8, respectively. Chapter 17 contains information on the aggregated submission of Denmark and Greenland under the Kyoto Protocol (e.g. on trends, uncertainties and key category analysis).

This report itself does not contain the full set of CRF tables. The full set of CRF tables is available at the EIONET, Central Data Repository, kept by the European Environmental Agency:


In the report English notation is used: “.” (full stop) for decimal sign and mostly space for division of thousands. The English notation for division of thousand as “,” (comma) is not used due to the risk of being misinterpreted by Danish readers.

ES.1.2 Institutions responsible

On behalf of the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Climate, Energy and Building, the Danish Centre for Environment and Energy (DCE), Aarhus University, is responsible for the calculation and reporting of the Danish national emission inventory to EU and the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) and UNECE CLRTAP (Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution) conventions. Hence, DCE prepares and publishes the annual submission for Denmark to the EU and UNFCCC of the National Inventory Report and the greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories in the Common Reporting Format, in accordance with the UNFCCC guidelines. Further, DCE is responsible for reporting the national inventory for the Kingdom of Denmark to the UNFCCC. DCE is also the body designated with overall responsibility for the national inventory under the Kyoto Protocol for Greenland and Denmark. Furthermore, DCE participates when reporting issues are discussed in the regime of UNFCCC and EU (Monitoring Mechanism).

The work concerning the annual greenhouse gas emission inventory is carried out in cooperation with Danish ministries, research institutes, organisations and companies. The Government of Greenland is responsible for finalising and transferring the inventory for Greenland to DCE. The Faroe Islands Environmental Agency is responsible for finalising and transferring the inventory for the Faroe Islands to DCE.

ES.1.3 Greenhouse gases

The greenhouse gases reported are those under the UN Climate Convention:

·      Carbon dioxide                 CO2

·      Methane                          CH4

·      Nitrous oxide                    N2O

·      Hydrofluorocarbons         HFCs

·      Perfluorocarbons              PFCs

·      Sulphur hexafluoride        SF6


The global warming potential (GWP) for various greenhouse gases has been defined as the warming effect over a given time frame of a given weight of a specific substance relative to the same weight of CO2. The purpose of this measure is to be able to compare and integrate the effects of the individual greenhouse gases on the global climate. Typical lifetimes in the atmosphere of greenhouse gases are very different, e.g. approximately 12 and 120 years for CH4 and N2O, respectively. So the time perspective clearly plays a decisive role. The life frame chosen is typically 100 years. The effect of the various greenhouse gases can then be converted into the equivalent quantity of CO2, i.e. the quantity of CO2 giving the same effect in absorbing solar radiation. According to the IPCC and their Fourth Assessment Report, which UNFCCC has decided to use as reference, the global warming potentials for a 100-year time horizon are:

·      Carbon dioxide (CO2):        1

·      Methane (CH4):                25

·      Nitrous oxide (N2O):        298


Based on weight and a 100-year period, CH4 is thus 25 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than CO2 and N2O is 298 times more powerful than CO2. Some of the other greenhouse gases (hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride) have considerably higher global warming potentials. For example, sulphur hexafluoride has a global warming potential of 22 800. The values for global warming potential used in this report are those prescribed by UNFCCC. The indirect greenhouse gases reported are nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC) and sulphur dioxide (SO2). Since no GWPs are assigned to these gases, they do not contribute to GHG emissions in CO2 equivalents.

ES.2 Summary of national emission and removal trends

Summary ES.2-4 refers to the inventory for Denmark only. The inventories for Greenland, Denmark and Greenland and the Faroe islands are described in Chapter 16 and 17 and Annex 8, respectively.

ES.2.1 Greenhouse gas emissions inventory

The greenhouse gas emissions are estimated according to the IPCC guidelines and guidance and are aggregated into six main sectors. According to decisions made under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol the greenhouse gas emissions are estimated according to the IPCC 2006 guidelines and the IPCC 2000 good practice guidance. The greenhouse gases include CO2, CH4, N2O, HFCs, PFCs, SF6 and NF3 Figure ES.1 shows the estimated total greenhouse gas emissions in CO2 equivalents from 1990 to 2014. The emissions are not corrected for electricity trade or temperature variations. CO2 is the most important greenhouse gas contributing in 2014 to national total in CO2 equivalents excluding LULUCF (Land Use and Land Use Change and Forestry) with 73.9 % followed by N2O with 10.0 %, CH4 14.4 % and F-gases (HFCs, PFCs and SF6) with 1.7 %. Seen over the time series from 1990 to 2014 these percentages have been increasing for CH4 and F-gases and decreasing slightly for N2O. The percentages for CO2 show larger fluctuations during the time series. Stationary combustion plants, Transport and Agriculture represent the largest contributing categories to emissions of greenhouse gases, followed by Industrial processes and product use, Waste and Fugitive emissions, see Figure ES.1. The net CO2 emission by LULUCF in 2014 is 3.5 % of the total emission in CO2 equivalents excl. LULUCF. The national total greenhouse gas emission in CO2 equivalents excluding LULUCF has decreased by 26.9 % from 1990 to 2014 and 30.9 % including LULUCF. Comments to the overall trends for the individual greenhouse gases etc. seen in Figure ES.1 are given in the sections below.

ES.2.2 KP-LULUCF activities

Table ES.1 contains information on emissions/removals of greenhouse gases in 2014.

ES.3 Overview of source and sink category emission estimates and trends

ES.3.1 Greenhouse gas emissions inventory


The largest source of CO2 emission is the energy sector, which includes the combustion of fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas.

The emission of CO2 from Energy Industries has decreased by 41.2 % from 1990 to 2014. The relatively large fluctuation in the emission is due to inter-country electricity trade. Thus, the high emissions in 1991, 1994, 1996, 2003 and 2006 reflect a large electricity export and the low emissions in 1990, 1992 and 2005, 2008 and 2011-2014 are due to a large import of electricity. The main reason for this decrease owe to decreasing fuel consumption, mainly for coal and natural gas. This decrease is partly due to increasing import of electricity and partly to increasing production of wind power and other renewable energy sources.

The increasing emission of CH4 during the nineties is due to the increasing use of gas engines in decentralised cogeneration plants. The CH4 emissions from this sector have been decreasing from 2001 to 2014 due to the liberalisation of the electricity market. The CO2 emission from the transport sector increased by 13.3 % from 1990 to 2014, mainly due to increasing road traffic.

Industrial processes and product use

The GHG emissions from industrial processes and product use, i.e. emissions from processes other than fuel combustion, amount in 2014 to 4.1 % of the total emission in CO2 equivalents (excl. LULUCF). The main sources are cement production, refrigeration, foam blowing and calcination of limestone. The CO2 emission from cement production – which is the largest source contributing in 2014 with 1.7 % of the national total – increased by 0.6 % from 1990 to 2014. The second largest source has previously been N2O from the production of nitric acid. However, the production of nitric acid/fertiliser ceased in 2004 and therefore the emission of N2O also ceased.

The emission of HFCs, PFCs and SF6 has increased by 144.6 % from 1995 until 2014, largely due to the increasing emission of HFCs. The use of HFCs, and especially HFC-134a, has increased several fold and thus HFCs have become the dominant F-gases, contributing 70.1 % to the F-gas total in 1995, rising to 83.3 % in 2014. HFC-134a is mainly used as a refrigerant. However, the use of HFC-134a is now stabilising. This is due to Danish legislation, which in 2007 banned new HFC-based refrigerant stationary systems. However, in contrast to this trend is the increasing use of air conditioning systems in mobile systems.

The major source to N2O emissions from the IPPU sector is Other product manufacture and use, contributing 99 % of the sectoral N2O emission in 2014.


The agricultural sector contributes in 2014 with 20.8 % of the total greenhouse gas emission in CO2 equivalents (excl. LULUCF) and is the most important sector regarding the emissions of N2O and CH4. In 2014, the contribution of N2O and CH4 to the total emission of these gases was 88.5 % and 79.6 %, respectively. The N2O emission from the agricultural sector decreases by 29.2 % from 1990 to 2014. The main reason for the decrease is a legislative demand for an improved utilisation of nitrogen in manure. This result in less nitrogen excreted per livestock unit produced and a considerable reduction in the use of fertilisers. From 1990 to 2014, the emission of CH4 from enteric fermentation has decreased due to decreasing numbers of cattle. However, the emission from manure management has increased due to changes in stable management systems towards an increase in slurry-based systems. Altogether, the emission of CH4 for the agricultural sector has increased by 1.2 % from 1990 to 2014.

Land Use and Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF)

The LULUCF sector alters between being a net sink and a net source of GHG. In 2014 LULUCF was a net source with 3.5 % of the total GHG emission excluding LULUCF. The overall trend in the LULUCF sector without Forestry is a decrease of 21.2 % since 1990.

In 2014 Forest Land was a large sink of 3 735 CO2 equivalents, while Cropland, Grassland, Wetlands and Settlements was net sources contributing with 3 880 kt CO2 equivalents, 1 285 kt CO2 equivalents, 248 kt CO2 equivalents and 48 kt CO2 equivalents, respectively.


The waste sector contributes in 2014 with 2.6 % to the national total of greenhouse gas emissions (excl. LULUCF), 15.3 % of the total CH4 emission and 3.6 % of the total N2O emission. The sector comprises solid waste disposal on land, wastewater handling, waste incineration without energy recovery (e.g. incineration of animal carcasses) and other waste (e.g. composting and accidental fires).

The GHG emission from the sector has decreased by 33.9 % from 1990 to 2014. This decrease is a result of (1) a decrease in the CH4 emission from solid waste disposal sites (SWDS) by 53.5 % due to the increasing use of waste for power and heat production, and (2) a decrease in emission of N2O from wastewater (WW) handling systems of 32.8 % due to upgrading of WW treatment plants. These decreases are counteracted by an increase in CH4 from WW of 14.3 % due to increasing industrial load to WW systems. In 2014 the contribution of CH4 from SWDS was 11.3 % of the total CH4 emission. The CH4 emission from WW amounts in 2014 to 1.5 % of the total CH4 emissions. The emission of N2O from WW in 2014 is 1.2 % of national total of N2O. Since all incinerated waste is used for power and heat production, the emissions are included in the 1A CRF category.

ES.3.2 KP-LULUCF activities

A more detailed description is given in Chapter 10.

ES.4 Other information

ES.4.1 Quality assurance and quality control

A plan for Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) in greenhouse gas emission inventories is included in the report. The plan is in accordance with the guidelines provided by the UNFCCC (Good Practice Guidance and Uncertainty Management in National Greenhouse Gas Inventories and Guidelines for National Systems). ISO 9000 standards are also used as an important input for the plan.

The plan comprises a framework for documenting and reporting emissions in a way that emphasize transparency, consistency, comparability, completeness and accuracy. To fulfil these high criteria, the data structure describes the pathway, from the collection of raw data to data compilation and modelling and finally reporting.

As part of the Quality Assurance (QA) activities, emission inventory sector reports are being prepared and sent for review to national experts not involved in the inventory development. To date, the reviews have been completed for the stationary combustion plants sector, the fugitive emissions from fuels sector, the transport sector, the solvents and other product use sector and the agricultural sector. In order to evaluate the Danish emission inventories, a project where emission levels and emission factors are compared with those in other countries has been conducted.

ES.4.2 Completeness

The Danish greenhouse gas emission inventories include all sources identified by the revised IPPC guidelines.

Please see Annex 5 for more information.

ES.4.3 Recalculations and improvements

Recalculations and improvements are continuously made to the inventory. The sector-specific recalculations and improvements are documented in the sectoral chapters of this report (Chapter 3-7) and a general overview is provided in Chapter 9.