LMRC working with IPCC Updating Guidelines for Tracking Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions




Dr. David Wong from the Light Metals Research Centre (LMRC) recently attended an Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) meeting in Rome (22-26 October 2018) for authors working on the ‘2019 Refinements to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories’. This was the 4th and final meeting to draft updates to the previous ‘2006 Guidelines’1, which all countries use to estimate and report their annual greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) to the UN. These guidelines cover all GHG emission sources – from energy, industry & product use, agriculture/forestry and waste – and updates are made to capture major advances in scientific knowledge and changes in industry.


David is one amongst 190 international experts selected as Authors and Review Editors by the IPCC. He is a Lead Author for guidelines on Aluminium and Rare Earth production, tasked with providing new guidance to estimate:

  • Perfluorocarbon (PFC) emissions2 from primary aluminium production, particularly ‘low voltage’ PFC emissions that were previously unaccounted for and updating guidance on ‘high voltage’ or anode effect-related PFC emissions.
  • CO2 and other GHG emissions from alternative alumina refining processes – Bayer-sintering and Nepheline proceses, which are currently unaccounted for and make up 5% of world production.
  • CO2 and PFC emissions from rare earth metals production (by fluoride-salt electrolysis) which are currently unaccounted for.


These will allow for more accurate accounting of GHG emissions from aluminium and rare earth producing countries.


The new guidelines have already passed through two rounds of reviews by Experts and Governments, with one final Government review stage remaining. The final ‘2019 Refinement’ guidelines are expected to be accepted and adopted by the IPCC Panel in May 2019.  Past IPCC meetings included:

  • Bilbao, Spain – 12-14th June, 2017
  • Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe – 25-28th September, 2017
  • Cairns, Australia – 10-13th April, 2018
  • Rome, Italy – 22-26th October, 2018


Travel has been funded by the New Zealand Ministry for Environment and David’s time has been partially funded by internal sources within the University of Auckland.  


For more information, contact david.wong@auckland.ac.nz or visit: https://www.ipcc-nggip.iges.or.jp/home/2019refinement.html.



1 The current 2006 IPCC Guidelines are available here: https://www.ipcc-nggip.iges.or.jp/public/2006gl/index.html  

2 Perfluorocarbon gases – CF4 and C2F6 – are highly potent greenhouse gases, with global warming potentials (GWP-100) 6,630 and 10,000 times greater than CO2, respectively, and are incredibly long-lived with atmospheric lifetimes of 50,000 and 10,000 years, respectively.