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UNECE launches e-learning course on air pollution emission inventory development

What are emission inventories and what purpose do they serve? Why is it important to develop emission inventories? If you don’t know the answer to these questions, you might be interested in taking the e-learning course on How to report emissions under the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (Air Convention), which was launched today at the Forum for International Cooperation on Air Pollution (Gothenburg, Sweden,16 March 2023). The course is available in English and is hosted on the UNCC:e-Learn platform, which is managed by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).  

Reporting emission inventories is a basic obligation for all Parties under the Air Convention. An emission inventory quantifies air pollutants and/or greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere in a defined geographical area and time span. Inventories are used to study trends in major air pollution sources and evaluate the impact of air pollution abatement measures. For example, Governments can use emission data to develop sustainable national and local policies, evaluate their effectiveness and impact on populations and ecosystems, demonstrate compliance with emission reduction targets, and provide information to the public.

To assist countries in effectively addressing air pollution and developing emission inventories, this course aims to explain the importance of emission inventories for clean air policy development, the requirements for emission inventory reporting and methods for emission estimation. The course was developed by UNECE with contributions from the European Union, Germany, and Switzerland.

Who should take this course?

The course is primarily designed to build capacities of employees of Ministries and technical institutes dealing with the Convention, academics, NGOs, and anyone wanting to learn more about emission reporting under the Convention. Taking this course should enable learners to contribute to emission inventory development as a key step in clean air policy design.

Learning objectives

The course will take around 1,5 hours total to complete.


After completing the course, learners will be able to:

  • Explain what an emission inventory is
  • Identify substances that are released into the atmosphere from various human activities
  • Describe how emission inventories contribute to the development of clean air policy at national and international levels
  • Outline the objectives, scope and principles of the Guidelines for reporting developed under the Convention
  • List different source categories covered by reporting obligations
  • Outline the principles of completing the reporting templates
  • Describe different emission estimation methods used under the Convention

Certification and evaluation

To successfully complete the course and gain a Certificate of Completion, participants can take an end-of-course assessment.


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