CITEPA conducts forward studies on emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases (GHGs) to a time horizon of few years, 10 years, 20 years and more, in geographical zones that may cover a local authority area, a region or the whole of France. CITEPA has already developed numerous scenarios and forecasts for the French Environment Ministry, the French Agency for Environment and Energy Management (ADEME) and certain regional authorities (cf. references).

These studies present a very high interest. They can help decision-makers to assess the impacts of emission reduction measures implemented, to determine existing reduction potential or to check that the measures introduced are appropriate to achieve compliance with commitments. These commitments may be regional, national or international that already exist or are to be negotiated, and may concern timescales of one year to several decades. Forward studies are an essential tool to support the development of national regulations, for example French Regional Climate, Air and Energy Plans (SCRAE) and Air Quality Protection Plans (PPA).

CITEPA's strong points lie in the combined treatment of atmospheric pollution and greenhouse gas aspects, which enable it to address multiple issues that involve commitments to both GHG and air pollutant emission reductions. At local level, air quality standards are not always complied with. Measures to reduce GHG emissions can have a negative impact on pollutant emissions and vice versa, for example:

    • Measures to encourage the development and use of biomass fuels. When burned in small domestic appliances that are sometimes poorly maintained or even poorly designed (obsolete equipment), biomass fuels can contribute to emissions of particulate matter, black carbon and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
    • Measures to treat gases containing pollutants. Introducing measures to remove SO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants by scrubbers can significantly increase energy consumption, thus reducing energy efficiency and increasing emissions of CO2 per kWh supplied.

The ability to select win-win measures for GHG and pollutant emission reductions is therefore crucial to all public and industrial policies. These studies help to define optimum strategies that public or industrial decision-makers must consider in order to avoid inappropriate and sometimes counterproductive measures.

CITEPA is in a position to develop different scenarios for the introduction of policies and measures. Sensitivity studies determine the margins of uncertainty in estimations of this type. CITEPA has the necessary knowledge on all the sectors concerned: industrial, domestic, residential, agricultural, forestry, etc. CITEPA follows the international programmes on these forward studies (under the United Nations in particular) and has been involved in drawing up guidelines. This work and its experience enables CITEPA to provide effective answers to the numerous requests it receives.