Assessing compliance with the Kyoto Protocol: Expert reviews, inverse modelling, or both?
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- CICERO Working Papers 
The Kyoto Protocol has an ambitious reporting and review system to assess nations’ compliance with their emission commitments. This system requires considerable resources to assure that the Parties report accurate emission inventory data. In spite of this, there is a danger that Parties consciously or unconsciously report erroneous data. The agreed upon review process will likely only detect large discrepancies. Because a more stringent review system would be more costly, there is a need to establish more precisely the needed accuracy to assess compliance. Emissions can alternatively be monitored by independent “top-down” methods; by measuring concentrations of gases in the atmosphere and employing meteorological models. However, all these means are as yet too imprecise to serve as independent alternatives to the emission inventories reported by the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. Still, they could be useful to monitor the success of the protocol. The top-down approaches might serve to some extent as useful supplements to the traditional emission inventories, in particular those dealing with fluorinated gases, and thereby provide input for improving the methods and guidelines of the emission inventories.