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Regulations and Initiatives on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Oil Towers

In 1997, 37 industrialized countries and the European community signed an international agreement in a concerted effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide and mitigate global warming. Popularly known as the Kyoto Protocol, the agreement was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, and was enforced beginning February 2005.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, actual GHG emissions of signatory countries are monitored. Countries must meet their targets through any of these three mechanisms: emissions trading, clean development mechanism, and joint implementation. These mechanisms aim to stimulate investment in green technologies and help countries meet their emission targets in a cost-effective manner.

Several countries and states in the U.S. have formed mandatory reporting guidelines. The European Union Emission Trading Scheme and California’s AB 32 are two of the most popular climate change initiatives.

ASTM D6866 in Climate Change Initiatives

The Climate Registry – The Climate Registry aims to establish consistent, transparent standards throughout North America for businesses and governments to calculate, verify, and publicly report their carbon footprints in a single, unified registry.

The TCR has issued three protocols requiring ASTM D6866 for biogenic carbon emission measurements: see page 71 of the General Reporting Protocol, page 84 of the Local Government Operations Protocol, and page 46 of the Electric Power Sector Protocol.

Department of the Environment and Energy (Australia) – The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 established a mandatory reporting system for corporate GHG emissions and energy production and consumption. The first reporting period under the Act commenced in July 2008.

In the NGER reporting system, ASTM D6866 is used to measure the amounts of each kind of fuel in blended liquid or solid fuels; see pages 185-186 of the technical guidelines for the estimation of emissions by facilities in Australia reporting year 2017-2018.

New Zealand Climate Change Regulations – The New Zealand Government has 2 regulations incorporating ASTM D6866. Under the Climate Change (Stationary Energy and Industrial Processes) Regulations 2009 (SR 2009/285), those who will opt to use the continuous emissions monitoring method for calculating emissions from combusting used oil, waste oil, used tyres, or waste will measure their total annual emissions consisting of non-biomass CO2, CH4, and N2O. According to the regulation, ASTM D6866 will be used to measure the non-biomass fraction of CO2 emissions when the fuel combusted contains both biomass and non-biomass.

Those who will use the periodic source testing method will also measure the same greenhouse gas emissions. The non-biomass fraction of the total CO2 emissions is determined in accordance with ASTM D6866.

For the Climate Change (Unique Emissions Factors) Regulations 2009 (SR 2009/286), specifically under the “requirements for applications for unique emissions factor approval for waste calculated using standard testing option,” ASTM D6866 can be used by a waste combustion participant to calculate a unique emissions factor for solid fuels.

Under “sampling and testing requirements for the periodic source testing option,” waste combustion participants using mixed fuel (biomass with non-biomass) have to measure the non-biomass fraction of the CO2 concentrations in the gas stream in accordance with ASTM D6866.