Green House Gases (GHG) Emission Verification and Validation
3 min

Green House Gases (GHG) Emission Verification and Validation

Posted by: Chuyên gia của TUV SUD Date: 22 May 2023

GHG Overview

Greenhouse gases are gases that exist naturally in the Earth's atmosphere and help to regulate the Earth's temperature. However, human activities, such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation, are causing an excess of these gases to accumulate in the atmosphere, leading to an increase in the Earth's temperature. This increase in temperature is causing many negative impacts, such as rising sea levels, more intense heat waves, droughts, and storms, which can negatively impact both the environment and people's lives. By reducing the emissions of these gases, we can help to slow down the negative effects of climate change.

The four main greenhouse gases are as follows:

1. Carbon dioxide (CO2): Natural events like volcanic eruptions and plant and animal respiration release CO2. But since the start of the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s, human activities like burning fossil fuels and extensive deforestation have increased atmospheric CO2 concentration by 50%. CO2 is the primary cause of climate change due to its abundance.

2. Methane: Decomposition results in the natural production of methane. But once more, human activity has upset the natural order. Cattle farming, rice farming, landfill waste dumps, and conventional oil and gas production all release significant amounts of methane into the atmosphere.

3. Nitrous oxide: Large-scale combustion of fossil fuels, the production of nitric acid, the burning of biomass, and the use of synthetic and organic fertilisers produce nitrous oxide.

4. Water vapour: The most common form of greenhouse gas is water vapour. Water vapour rises as the Earth's atmosphere warms, but it only lingers for a few days as opposed to CO2, which can stay in the atmosphere for hundreds of years.

Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) have terrible effects on the environment. By trapping heat, GHGs contribute to climate change and respiratory disease brought on by smog and air pollution. Other impacts of climate change brought on by GHGs include extreme weather, disruptions in the food supply, and an increase in wildfires.[1]

Impact Of GHG Emissions

The concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is increasing rapidly, and human-caused greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that the planet could warm to 1.5⁰C above pre-industrial levels between 2030 and 2052. The Earth's average temperature has risen by 1.0 degrees Celsius since pre-industrial times, with the last few decades alone accounting for about two-thirds of that warming.

Global warming, fuelled by greenhouse gas emissions from human activity, is changing the Earth's climate systems in numerous ways. It is:

  • Causing extreme weather events, such as heat waves, hurricanes, droughts, and floods, to occur more frequently and intensely.
  • Increasing precipitation extremes, moistening wet areas, and more dry areas.
  • Raising sea levels as a result of melting glaciers, sea ice, and rising ocean temperatures
  • Shifting the geographic ranges, seasonal activities, migration patterns, and abundance of land, freshwater, and marine species, as well as ecosystems and natural habitats.

Not only do these changes endanger plants and wildlife, but they also directly endanger people. Heat waves are becoming more severe and dangerous for people due to rising temperatures, which encourage the growth of pathogens that spread diseases like dengue and Zika.

Droughts and floods could cause a food shortage, causing people to go hungry. According to a 2011 National Research Council study, crop yields will decrease by five to fifteen per cent for every degree of Celsius the planet warms. Political instability and large-scale human migration can result from food insecurity.[2]

Why is the Measurement of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Important?

Satellite, atmospheric, and ground-based observations have shown that human-induced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are primarily to blame for the rapid climate change we are experiencing on Earth. We must precisely measure how and where we are achieving GHG emission reductions and whether the climate is responding so that global leaders can combat climate change and meet the net zero target.

While the actual impact of such changes on the climate system will only be observable over more extended periods (decades), one can observe changes resulting from government initiatives in a relatively short time frame (years). On the path to attaining net zero emissions by 2050, identifying the sources of GHG emissions and supporting emissions monitoring and reduction will be crucial.

By calculating and analysing the GHGs and pollutants that are present in the Earth's atmosphere, measurement can be helpful. When evaluating the effectiveness of climate action, measurements of naturally removed GHGs — which remove about half of human-induced carbon emissions—will be crucial.

As a result of the need for precise emission data to implement effective reduction initiatives under international agreements and national policies, the development of international standards helps define reference methods for emissions measurement. Therefore, effective, and precise climate action depends on accurately identifying and quantifying emissions and their sources at local and global scales.

ISO 14046 GHG Emission Verification and Validation

Organisations must actively review their operations more frequently to effectively manage Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and combat climate change. The ISO 14000 family of international environmental management standards now includes ISO 14064. Both businesses and governments use these standards to cut GHG emissions, control carbon footprints, and facilitate emissions trading.

In addition, by undergoing Third-party Validation and Verification, companies can gain a better understanding of global standards for monitoring and reporting carbon emissions and use the findings to enhance their carbon management strategies. This, in turn, enables them to implement sustainable development practices and receive comprehensive technical support.

The ISO 14064 standard has three sections:

The first section outlines the specifications for creating organisational or entity-level GHG inventories. The second section outlines the specifications for calculating, tracking, and disclosing emission reductions and removal improvements from GHG projects. The third section outlines the requirements and offers suggestions for validating and verifying GHG information.

Each component is crucial to the ISO 14064 standards and GHG verification as they detail various verification and standard requirements and intend to assist in navigating the critical elements of the standard.

The GHG validation and verification measures and reports your company's emissions. Verifying your GHG emissions shows external stakeholders your organisation's commitment to sustainability and that your emission reductions are real, believable, and quantifiable.

The ISO 14063-3 standards provide GHG verification and validation. It guarantees that your company's current GHG emissions comply with the frameworks, standards, and requirements for reporting. Organisations can use ISO 14064 as a useful business tool to comply with current greenhouse gas inventory regulations or prepare for new ones. This is another technique for risk management in environmental management. ISO 14064 can support organisational efforts in GHG management and reduction as well.

TÜV SÜD has a broad range of expertise and offers the following services to businesses worldwide and across industries:


Conclusion

Effective and precise climate action depends on accurately identifying and quantifying emissions and their sources. The environment needs significant effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the international, national, and local scales.

Get in touch with TÜV SÜD to begin your ISO 14064 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Verification and Validation through pre-assessment evaluation, verification planning, conducting verification, and issuance of verification report and statement.

 

References:

  1. Nationalgrid, https://www.nationalgrid.com/stories/energy-explained/what-are-greenhouse-gases
  2. Nrdc.org, https://www.nrdc.org/stories/greenhouse-effect-101#consequences


 

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