Monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions

The monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions is the basis for the evaluation, planning and monitoring of climate policy. Monitoring and reporting can be used to make sure that the agreed emission limits are complied with.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol and the EU greenhouse gas monitoring mechanism oblige to monitor and report on the greenhouse gas emissions on an annual basis. Finland reports its greenhouse gas emissions both to the European Commission and the secretariat of the UNFCCC. In addition to emissions, carbon sinks are also reported.

Finland has established the national greenhouse gas inventory system to facilitate this reporting.

The reporting of greenhouse gases is monitored and the data is verified as required by the Kyoto Protocol. The reports of the different parties are evaluated by an international group of auditors. If the reporting is found to be deficient, sanctions may be imposed.

Monitoring of the obligations imposed by the Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol establishes the maximum allowable emissions for every nation that is committed to the Protocol, which may not be exceeded.

The countries must report to the secretariat of the UNFCCC on the fulfilment of the obligations of the Kyoto Protocol on an annual basis. The first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol covered the years 2008 to 2012. Finland reached the emission reduction targets of the first commitment period, i.e. greenhouse gas emissions were below the level in 1990, in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol accounting rules. During this period the emissions were 5 per cent below the maximum allowable emissions established for Finland (355 million tonnes of CO2 eq.).

The decision on the second commitment period 2013 to 2020 was made at the meeting of the Parties in Doha in 2012. The second commitment period enters into force when at least three fourths of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol have ratified the Doha Amendment, by which the second commitment period was agreed. 

The EU burden-sharing decision requires more detailed monitoring of emissions

The European Commission has established binding annual emission allocations for Member States, which have a significant impact on national environmental policies. During 2013 to 2020, Member States must linearly reduce greenhouse emissions of the non-emissions trading sector, and the emissions must not exceed the allocations established for Member States. This requires more detailed monitoring of emissions.

The establishment of these allocations is part of the implementation of the EU burden-sharing decision under of the EU climate and energy package adopted in 2008. The non-emissions trading sector includes road transportation, the individual heating of buildings, agriculture and waste management. The burden-sharing decision does not cover emissions and sinks from land-use, land-use change and forestry, or large industrial and energy production plants that are already included in the EU Emissions Trading System.

In Finland, the implementation of the burden-sharing decision is prepared by the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

Besides emissions, international reporting on climate policy measures

The Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change are obligated to submit National Reports on the implementation of climate policy every four years. Besides data on emissions, the reports include assessments on future emission trends, policy measures, climate change adaptation, financing, research, training and national circumstances.

Biennial Reports to be submitted every two years include some of the data required for the National Reports. Finland’s next National Report and third Biennial Report should be ready by 1 January 2018. Policy measures are also reported to the European Commission every two years.


More information

Ministerial adviser Paula Perälä, Ministry of the Environment, tel. +358 295 250 224,

Published 2013-12-17 at 10:51, updated 2016-11-01 at 10:12