Urban Emissions Working Group


GEIA Urban Emissions Working Group

Leaders: Beatriz Cardenas, Susana Lopez-Aparicio, Leonor Tarrason, Cathy Leal-Liusse


Urban areas around the world are at the center of mitigation actions to improve air quality and enable transitions towards a more sustainable, healthy, just, and resilient societies. Complex systemic mitigation approaches that combine both air pollutants and greenhouse gases are required for the implementation of zero pollution strategies in urban areas. Understanding emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases is at the core of the design of any mitigation and adaptation strategies. In urban areas, tackling air pollution to protect health, climate and the environment also requires coordinated policy action across different sectors such as residential fuel burning, transportation, energy, waste, agriculture, road dust, other industrial sources, forest fires, and even natural sources such as natural dust. Emission understanding is the goal of the activities in the GEIA, the Global Emission InitiAtive, a community effort dedicated to emissions information exchange and competence building. While best practices on emission compilation exist at national and regional level, for specific sectors, urban emission and their systemic complexity are not fully addressed yet. 

The purpose of the GEIA Urban Emission Working Group is to enable a competence sharing activity to improve our understanding on urban emissions across the world. As a first step towards improving our understanding of urban emissions we propose a benchmarking activity where urban emissions are compared to regional and global emissions. This benchmarking activity has the potential to compare the methodologies used for urban emission inventory development and to identify the best practices, and to show the main differences with regional or global emission approaches. Urban emission inventory development requires a higher level of detail in the applied emission factors and activity data than what is required at regional or national or global level. The three main expected results of this benchmarking activity is 1) to identify best practices for emission compilation in urban areas (BU, TD, downscaling techniques…), 2) to identify current of knowledge gaps in terms of emission factors and detailed activity data, and 3) to provide key messages to policy makers on the type of data and information compilation and reporting mechanisms necessary for a good understanding of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in urban areas.  

The activity is to link to CLRTAP and the Forum for International Cooperation on Air Pollution initiative under the UNECE, the African GEIA Working Group, the South American GEIA WG, C40, Clean Air Asia and CCAC and FAIRMODE urban emission activities in Europe.