Improving livestock GHG inventories in Africa: Which model to use?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommends to use a more advanced (Tier 2) method to quantify livestock GHG emissions when enteric fermentation from livestock is a significant source of national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Enteric fermentation is a key category in many African countries’ national GHG inventories, and several countries are now working on improving their national inventories for livestock. Countries can either use the IPCC Tier 2 model or a country specific model. To date, Sub-Saharan African countries have used one of two models to estimate enteric fermentation emissions in their national GHG inventories: the IPCC model (used in Benin, Ethiopia, Kenya and Namibia) and a model based on Australian equations used in South Africa’s GHG inventory. As more countries consider adopting a Tier 2 method, the question arises: which model to use?

In this information brief, we compare emission factors (EFs) for 26 sub-categories of dairy cattle and 59 subcategories of beef (‘other’) cattle calculated using both the IPCC and South African models. The results show that there are systematic differences between the models and that each model has particular strengths and weaknesses.

The information brief can be downloaded from the panel to the right/below.