Country borders have been chosen as system boundaries to inventory GHG emissions under the Kyoto Protocol. The use of country boundaries is clear and allows summing over all countries. The country inventories purposefully account for where and when both fossil-fuel combustion emissions occur, and changes in the biological stocks of carbon occur. The approach can be widely adopted, but this accounting is hampered by uncertain data (1, 2) and two basic shortcomings: Not all countries are required to report, and not all biological carbon stocks are inventoried. A first step to improve inventories would be to address these issues through concerted cooperation to improve the reliability of land cover and carbon stock data and establish comprehensive accounting of current stocks.

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