Chapter 2.8 - General Assessment of Completeness

Last updated on 16 Oct 2015 06:19 (cf. Authors)


The German inventory is generally complete regarding the main pollutants, TSP and CO. National total emissions of these pollutants are considered to be representative and reflect the current emissions situation. Nevertheless there are some cases where no appropriate method or data is available. It’s assumed that these cases would not have a noticeable effect to national totals and are in the range of uncertainties.

In terms of heavy metals and POPs, the situation is different due to the low data availability. As additional information, there is a specific overview on the completeness of the German POP inventory available.

Germany does not report any emission data for years prior 1990. Due to the split into GDR and BRD before 1990, there are no consistent datasets covering the whole of the temporary German territory. Germany has no plans to work on emission inventories for the year 1980 to 1989 in the future. However, some summarizing information on the years 1970 to 1989 is presented below.

The completeness of the German inventory as a whole has also been assessed in the 2014 stage 3 review report.

The following sections reflect on a few source-category-specific approaches for improving the completeness of the inventory.

Fuel combustion

In principle, all combustion-related activities (1.A) are recorded in full within the National Energy Balance (NEB) of the Federal Republic of Germany. Nonetheless, where it is evident that complete coverage is not achieved for certain sub-sectors (i.e. non-commercial use of wood, waste fuels), the NEB is supplemented with further statistical data, surveys etc. However, there are frequent changes within the NEB, in particular concerning renewable energies. Such changes in fuel and source categories require considerable research work. Insofar, it's not always possible to implement all data in time. However, based on current information, combustion related activity data can be considered complete.

This also applies for the main pollutants, particulate matter and CO. There may be cases, where a further breakdown of activity data and emission factors would be more appropriate to represent any specific technology. In such cases, where the share of a specific technology is very small, the influence of a missing sub-division on the national totals is considered small, too.

In some source categories, separation of combustion-related and non-combustion-related emissions from industry requires further verification. In general, for such categories, avoidance of double counting is an important part of quality assurance.

In terms of heavy metals and POPs, emissions are not complete due to a lack of appropriate emission factors. Since they may not properly reflect the situation in Germany and in order to avoid inconsistencies within the German inventory as a whole, it is not always advisable to use default emission factors. In addition, fixed default EFs cannot display the influence of technological developments onto the trends of certain emissions. Nevertheless, many country-specific emission factors (which are highly uncertain) are available for all combustion plants. All key categories are reported.

Industrial processes

In the area of industrial processes, for the application of higher tier approaches some use is made of production data from association statistics and of manufacturers' information. In the interest of the inventory's completeness and reliability those data sets get specific QA/QC procedures. The inventory is considered complete for the main industrial processes.


In the area of agriculture, while survey data from a past research project on management systems in animal husbandry are available, an effort is being made to carry out periodic, representative data surveys, in the interest of the inventory's continuing completeness and consistency. Further improvement in terms of completeness can be expected for future submissions.

Explanation on the use of notation keys

The use of notation keys in the German inventory is carefully checked each year. All notation keys are used as defined in the guidance documents. The following table from the stage 1 review gives a good indication on where and how frequently notation keys are used in the reporting:


As shown in the table, the only flagged cells are the ones reporting on the use of NE. Though NEs are great in number, the actual emission behind each of the notation keys is estimated to be very small. In some cases, it is actually used instead of NA to make absolutely sure to be on the conservative side of the estimate. As for categories, mainly Industrial Processes and Agriculture are using NEs (please refer to section 1c of the review report for details). Each use is individually justified in the corresponding source category section of this report.

Emission data for years before 1990

Next section: 3. Explanation of Key Trends

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