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Climate change is a global challenge, and the source of a multitude of local impacts.

It calls for a concerted global response, but also for multiple actions on various scales: national, regional, territorial, corporate and individual. The international, European and French regulations for combating climate change reflect this diversity of scale, and this need for consistent and appropriate climate policies.



National context

In the framework of the Kyoto protocol, France committed to stabilizing its greenhouse gas emissions at 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. In order to attain this objective, France rolled out a Program for Combating Climate Change (Programme de Lutte contre le Changement Climatique) in 2000, followed by a Climate Plan (Plan Climat) in 2004, which was updated in 2006 and then successively every two years. By the end of the first phase of the Kyoto protocol, France had complied with and even exceeded its commitments.

The extension of the Kyoto protocol through to 2020 is aligned, for the European Union, with the so-called "3x20" objectives. Within this framework, France undertakes to reduce its emissions by 17% in 2020, compared to 1990, representing a reduction:

  • of 21% of the emissions covered by the emission quotas trading scheme, compared to 2005;
  • of 14% of the emissions from sectors not covered by this trading scheme such as construction, transportation, agriculture and waste.

Other measures are intended to develop carbon capture and storage, or to reduce the CO2 emissions from vehicles.

Furthermore, France has committed, by way of the POPE Act of 13 July 2005, concerning the French Energy Policy Guidance Program, to reduce its direct GHG emissions by three-quarters by 2050. This objective is known by the name "Factor 4".

To account for its emissions, France carries out a national inventory of its direct emissions of greenhouse gases every year. The production of this inventory is assigned to CITEPA.

Source: Énergie et climat - Chiffres clés 2013 - Publications ADEME


European context

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), born of the Rio Summit of 1992, targets the stabilization of greenhouse gas emissions of anthropogenic origin. It was reinforced by the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 which set an objective of reducing the emissions of 38 industrialized countries by 5.2% over the period 2008-2012, compared to emissions in 1990. The European Union, for its part, committed to reducing its emissions by 8%, an objective that has been achieved.

In addition, since 1 January 2005 a GHG emissions quota trading system has been in place in the EU, based on directive 2003/87/EC of 13 October 2003. Only certain installations are concerned by this system.


The Climate & Energy package

In December 2008, under the French presidency of the European Union, the European heads of state adopted the "climate & energy package". Through this series of directives and regulations, Europe undertakes to reduce, by 2020, its global greenhouse gas emissions by 20% compared to 1990 levels. The European Union plans to increase this objective to -30% if other industrialized nations accept doing the same.

To achieve this level of reduction, the EU needs to attain other objectives ("3x20" measures):

  • improving energy efficiency by 20% by 2020;
  • increasing to an average of 20% the proportion of renewable energies accounted for in energy consumption.

The climate & energy package also underpins the emissions quota trading scheme, extending it to all industrial emitters and to civil aviation (domestic flights and flights between countries covered by the ETS Directive), and developing the auctions market.

A new Climate & Energy package is currently being discussed in order to determine new energy ambitions in Europe for 2030.

As far as environmental accounting is concerned, the European Commission has launched a three-year trial whose main objective is to develop reference bases for sectors in Europe through application of general PEF (Product Environmental Footprint) and OEF (Organization Environmental Footprint) methods.

The trial also looks to test how environmental information is verified. To this end, the Commission has launched a bibliographical study aiming to identify and describe the most appropriate conformity systems for PEF or OEF declarations.

To find out more:


International context and standardization

Standard ISO 14064-1:2006 and the ISO 14069 technical report

Standard ISO 14064-1:2006, drafted by the ISO/TC207 "environmental management" technical committee specifies, for organizations, the principles and requirements for quantification and for the drafting of reports on greenhouse gas emissions and their elimination. This "generalist" standard, published in 2006, covers the principles of the GHG protocol.

France proposed its revision, and this was accepted to the tune of more than 80% (voted on in September 2013). This work began in January 2014 in the framework of the TC207/SC7/WG4 and is led by France (President and Secretary).

The contents of the revision will be based on the ISO 14069 Technical Report, available since April 2013. The objective of this technical guide is to help users in the application of the ISO 14064-1 standard by way of guidelines and examples in order to ensure transparency in the quantification of emissions and elimination of GHG in organizations and in the drafting of their reports. In addition, it provides a listing of the emission categories within each scope.

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