IPCC Classifications

According to IPCC 2006 Guidelines (GL), Tier 1 methods for all categories are designed to use readily available national or international statistics in combination with default emission factors and additional parameters that are provided.

The use of default values to estimate country-specific emissions and removals in the AFOLU sector could be associated to high uncertainty unless the suitability of the available default parameters to a country’s circumstances is known.

Default factors for various land use categories and pools can be chosen according to climate zones, soils type and/or global ecological zones.

IPCC provides a classification scheme for default Climate regions of based on:

•    Elevation,

•    Mean annual temperature (MAT),

•    Mean annual precipitation (MAP),

•    Mean annual precipitation to potential evapo-transpiration ratio (MAP:PET),

•    frost occurrence

Regarding Soil types, IPCC 2006 GL suggests to use the decision tree in its Annex 3 to classify soils from soil taxonomic systems like USDA and WRB into IPCC soil types.

And finally, regarding Ecological zones the IPCC 2006 GL follows the FAO Global Ecological Zones (GEZ), based on observed climate and vegetation patterns.

During the QA/QC process of the EU National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (GHG), the JRC indentified that some Member States do not implement correctly the disaggregation suggested by the IPCC for Tier 1 method when default factors are chosen.

To support a correct implementation of the Tier 1 methods, the JRC has developed maps suitable for supporting Member States in the selection of IPCC default factors.

For each Member States three maps were developed by overlapping Member State maps with Climate zone and Soils map (available on, and Global Ecological Zone map (available on

The results of these overlaps are available in pdf format but, if needed, under request, JRC would provide the GIS layer: JRC-FOREST[at]


​IPCC Climate Zones (GIS layers)

IPCC Soil Types (GIS layers)

Global Ecological Zones (GIS layers)