Full Carbon Accounting and the Kyoto Protocol: A Systems- Analytical View.
IIASA's Sustainable Forest Resources (FOR) Project, together with the Energy Compatible Energy Systems (ECS) Project, is carrying out a full carbon account (FCA) for Russia. This report discusses the application of FCA in addressing some major scientific issues and challenges underlying the Revised 1996 Guidelines of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Kyoto Protocol. FOR is moving towards a full-carbon-accounting approach, taking baselines, baseline scenarios and uncertainty into account. We have a number of advantages in carrying out this work by having access to a unique database on Russia. The Russian forest vegetation contains about 20 percent of the world's carbon stored in forest vegetation for which we have generated detailed databases on the forest sector, terrestrial biota, and land use. FOR will also derive full carbon accounts for other countries (Austria, Ukraine, etc.), that will permit the project to generalize findings and to identify knowledge gaps of relevance to make the Kyoto Protocol operational. This work will significantly contribute to the work of the IPCC and International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, and will naturally link with the remote sensing and biodiversity activities at IIASA. The study analyzes a number of crucial issues that are relevant to, but are not appropriately taken into account by the Kyoto Protocol. These issues relate to: (1) whether the greenhouse gas guidelines of the Itergovernmental Panel on Climate Change can serve as the main carbon accounting and legal compliance system of the Kyoto Protocol; (2) full carbon accounting; (3) establishing baselines and post 1990 baseline scenarios; and, (4) accounting for uncertainty. We investigate the role of a systems analysis-based full carbon accounting approach to approach these issues.
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