Sustainable greenhouse gas management

Project description

Title: Capacity development for greenhouse gas inventories and MRV systems in Tunisia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Buildung and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)
Country: Tunisia
Lead executing agency: Ministère de l’Industrie
Overall term: 2012 to 2016

In recent decades there has been a marked increase in greenhouse gas emissions in Tunisia. This is because the country’s economic and development model is very closely linked to the consumption of fossil fuels. Tunisia has recognised this problem and is now promoting renewable energy and climate protection activities with a view to modernising industry, creating jobs, improving quality of life and supporting international efforts in the field of climate change mitigation.

The key to successful climate protection, however, is the capacity to manage greenhouse gases effectively. To what extent can CO2 emissions be reduced by adopting certain measures? How can we accurately monitor greenhouse gases? What is the best way for Tunisia to report its findings to the international community? Do the figures stand up to scrutiny and can they be verified?

Tunisia is currently not in a position to provide comprehensive and reliable answers to these questions as the necessary technical and administrative frameworks are not yet in place. A country must, however, meet very high requirements concerning greenhouse gas management before it may participate in international processes under the auspices of the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Any state wishing to benefit from international support must have in place what is known as an MRV system: a reliable system for measuring, reporting and verifying greenhouse gas emissions.

A robust greenhouse gas inventory for establishing reports in the context of the UNFCCC has been established. An MRV system for the energy sector has been developed. Tunisia is in a position to draw up Biennial Update Reports independently and to measure the effects of the Tunisian Solar Programme, as well as other measures being employed in the energy sector, and to report on them and have them verified. It is able to participate actively in international processes, helping to shape the policy of the UNFCCC.

The following steps are being undertaken to build a successful greenhouse gas inventory and MRV system. These steps are supporting Tunisian efforts towards effective climate protection:

  • The evaluation of the current database and information systems and the analysis of institutional processes and structures are enabling needs to be identified. This allows improved strategies to be developed together with the authorities.
  • In cooperation with international experts, training courses and workshops on implementation problems are being conducted for staff and managers in the individual institutions. South-South exchange events are encouraging knowledge transfer with other countries.
  • The processes for establishing and maintaining greenhouse gas inventories and MRV systems are being laid out in guidelines, to which the Tunisian experts may refer in their work.
  • A pilot MRV system is being developed to assess specific CO2 reduction measures within the energy sector. Among other things, it is being used to assess the targeted expansion of solar power. The results and experience from these tests will feed into the further development of the MRV system.

Results achieved so far
Awareness has been raised among decision makers in the ministries and authorities responsible for the energy, industry, agriculture and waste management sectors, and the institutional structures necessary to ensure a sustainable inventory system have been established.

By attending training courses and information events on the topics of energy balance, MRV of mitigation measures and the development of greenhouse gas inventories, the staff of various authorities have gained the fundamental skills and knowledge necessary to ensure sustainable greenhouse gas management.

The existing database and information system has been assessed and a detailed action plan for its improvement has been drafted.

Tunisia is participating in an international project aiming to establish pilot MRV systems. Through this work, it is contributing to the development of international guidelines relating to MRV of mitigation measures.


Torsten Greis