Aarhus Universitets segl

No. 518: Improving the greenhouse gas inventory for the Faroe Islands

Nielsen, O.-K., Winther, M., Mikkelsen, M.H., Bruun, H.G. & Gyldenkærne, S. 2022. Improving the greenhouse gas inventory for the Faroe Islands. Aarhus University, DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy, 47 pp. Scientific Report No. 518. http://dce2.au.dk/pub/SR518.pdf


The Kingdom of Denmark is Party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and therefore has obligations to estimate and report emissions of greenhouse gases annually. The improvements made in this project was included in the reporting to the UNFCCC partly in 2021 and fully in 2022.

The reports to the UNFCCC are subjected to reviews, where an international team of experts selected by the UNFCCC Secretariat analyses the submission and formulates recommendations for improvements. During the reviews, there have been specific recommendations related to the completeness of the greenhouse gas inventory for the Faroe Islands.

In this project, the Faroese inventory was analysed to assess the adherence to the UNFCCC Reporting Guidelines (UNFCCC, 2013) and the 2006 IPCC Guidelines (IPCC, 2006). The focus was to ensure that the inventory was complete and that the accuracy was the best possible. The results of the analysis and the improvements made in response to this are described for each IPCC main sector in this report.

For the energy sector, the analysis showed that the inventory was complete in terms of coverage of sources. However, two other areas for improvement were identified and addressed during the project. The emissions associated with road transport were reported as a total without disaggregation to vehicle categories. This was addressed using data from the Faroe Islands combined with assumptions and data from the Danish road transport emission model. This allowed the emissions to be disaggregated on vehicle types (cars, light-duty trucks, heavy-duty trucks and buses, and two-wheelers (motorcycles and mopeds). The second identified area for improvement was the lack of the reference approach calculation for the energy sector. Based on import/export data collected from the statistical organisation, a first version of the reference approach was elaborated and reported. The comparison to the sectoral approach shows relatively large discrepancies for some years and this should be further investigated in the future.

For industrial processes and product use (IPPU), the analysis showed that the most important source (use of fluorinated gases) was complete and as there is no heavy industry in the Faroe Islands, only a few minor sources were identified as missing. These two sources were use of lubricants and use of paraffin wax. Statistical data was collected allowing an estimation of the use of lubricants and waxes in the Faroe Islands and emissions were estimated using the default Tier 1 methodology contained in the 2006 IPCC Guidelines.

For agriculture, the analysis showed that a number of sources had not previously been estimated (e.g. emissions from mineral fertiliser use, animal manure applied to soils, crop residues and leaching and runoff) and that only simple Tier 1 methodologies were used. These identified areas for improvement was addressed through this project and was included in the reporting to the UNFCCC in 2022.

For land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF), the Faroe Islands had not previously included any information in the UNFCCC reporting. As part of this project a land use matrix was developed for the Faroe Islands and emissions were estimated and included in the UNFCCC reporting for all relevant land use categories (forests, grassland and settlements).

Regarding the waste sector, no emissions had been reported previously by the Faroe Islands. As part of this project, emissions from solid waste disposal on land and wastewater handling were estimated and included in the reporting. In the future, emissions from anaerobic digestion (a plant opened in 2020) and composting should be considered and included in the reporting, if relevant.

In total, the impact for the energy, IPPU and waste sectors were very limited with the largest impact coming from the inclusion of sources within the waste sector. The largest impacts were seen due to the changes in the agricultural and LULUCF sectors.

As the emissions from the agricultural and LULUCF sectors are relatively constant over time, the change in total emissions for the Faroe Islands are relatively constant throughout the time-series.

The highest percentage impact is for 1994, where the improvements made lead to an increase in the estimated emissions of 22 %. For the majority of the years, the impact is an increase in emissions of between 10 and 15 %, with the lowest impact being in 2018 with 9.3 %.