PIKParis Reality Check: PRIMAP-hist

The PRIMAP-hist national historical emissions time series

Dataset Description

Gütschow, J.; Jeffery, L.; Gieseke, R.; Gebel, R.; Stevens, D.; Krapp, M.; Rocha, M. (2016): The PRIMAP-hist national historical emissions time series, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 8, 571-603, https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-8-571-2016

Dataset Download (Version 2.0)

Gütschow, J.; Jeffery, L.; Gieseke, R. (2019): The PRIMAP-hist national historical emissions time series (1850-2016). v2.0. GFZ Data Services. https://doi.org/10.5880/pik.2019.001

About PRIMAP-hist

The PRIMAP-hist dataset combines several published datasets to create a comprehensive set of greenhouse gas emission pathways for every country and Kyoto gas covering the years 1850 to 2016, and all UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) member states, as well as most non-UNFCCC territories. The data resolves the main IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 2006 categories. Subsector data for Energy, Industrial Processes and Agriculture is available for CO2, CH4, and N2O. Due to data availability and methodological issues, version 2.0 of the PRIMAP-hist dataset does not include emissions from land use, land use change, and forestry (LULUCF).

Data Description (PDF) | Updated Figures (PDF)

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Other (IPC5)
Waste (IPC4)
Agriculture (IPCMAG, sum of IPC3A and IPCMAGELV)
Industrial Processes and Product Use (IPC2)
Energy (IPC1)
Totals (Excluding Land-Use)
Shift-click a category to toggle viewing a single category.
Group/Abbrev. Description
All parties Aggregated emissions for all countries.
Annex-I Annex-I Parties to the Convention
Non-Annex-I Non-Annex-I Parties to the Convention
AOSIS Alliance of Small Island States
BASIC BASIC countries (Brazil, South Africa, India and China)
EU28 European Union
LDC Least Developed Countries
Umbrella-Group Umbrella Group

Version 2.0

The v2.0 release comes with several important changes. The dataset now uses the sectors from the IPCC 2006 guidelines. It includes new and updated data sources (EDGAR v4.3.2, Andrew 2018 cement data, updated BUR, CRF and UNFCCC data, updated BP and FAO data). This release of PRIMAP-hist does not include LULUCF emissions. We also present two different time series to highlight discrepancies between data from third party assessments and data reported by countries. In the "country reported priority" time series we prioritize country reported data over third party data. This is a direct continuation of earlier versions of PRIMAP-hist. This time series has the scenario code "HISTCR". In the "third party priority" time series we prioritize data from third party assessments (e.g. by research institutes, international organization, or private companies) over the country reported data. The scenario code is "HISTTP".

See Gütschow et al. (2016) for the methodology description including limitations and uncertainties of the dataset. A new data description paper with detailed methodology description is currently under preparation. See also the data description at the Dataset Repository for a format description and changelog.

Why we currently do not include land use data in PRIMAP-hist

LULUCF data has high annual fluctuations which makes it difficult to combine datasets by scaling of one dataset to match the other (and use the growth rates of the scaled dataset to extend the other dataset). Thus in PRIMAP-hist v1 we used unscaled data, which introduces sudden changes in emissions timeseries that were often understood by users as changes in actual emissions instead of changes in underlying dataset. LULUCF emissions estimates vary strongly between different datasets and the methodologies used can be very different. There are also changes in methodologies within datasets, which again introduce sudden emissions changes into the timeseries. With the data currently available, we cannot produce time series that fulfill our requirements for internal consistency and easy usability by a broad audience. Describing the inconsistencies and the limitations to the use of the dataset resulting from these issues has proven not to suffice as the LULUCF data lead to misunderstandings. Thus we have decided to stop publishing LULUCF timeseries until either there are more consistent datasets or we develop an improved methodology to create a consistent and easy to use LULUCF dataset.


Emissions from international Aviation and Shipping are not included.

Gas categories are using global warming potentials from either the IPCC's (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Second Assessment Report (SAR) or Assessment Report 4 (AR4).

The last years of the time series are obtained using extrapolations for some sectors and gases for Non-Annex-I countries. Therefore these data have to be used with caution when making statements about short term emissions trends.
Please check out the dataset without extrapolation to find out which time series have been extrapolated. This dataset is available together with the extrapolated data under the DOI given below.

We provide a version of this dataset that does not use numerical extrapolation to the future that can be used for this purpose. Where regional data is used for extrapolation to the past, individual country developments are not taken into account and can not be deduced from the data. Short term trends can also be influenced by the combination of different sources, thus the consultation of original sources is advised before making statements about such trends.

Recommended citation

When using this dataset, or one of its updates, please cite the DOI of the precise version of the dataset used and also the data description article to which this dataset is supplement. Please consider also citing relevant original sources when using the PRIMAP-hist dataset. References to the original sources can be found in the mansucript and on the dataset download page.

Description Article

Gütschow, J.; Jeffery, L.; Gieseke, R.; Gebel, R.; Stevens, D.; Krapp, M.; Rocha, M. (2016): The PRIMAP-hist national historical emissions time series, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 8, 571-603, https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-8-571-2016


Gütschow, J.; Jeffery, L.; Gieseke, R. (2019): The PRIMAP-hist national historical emissions time series v2.0 (1850-2016). GFZ Data Services. https://doi.org/10.5880/pik.2019.001


Johannes Gütschow, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, johannes.guetschow@pik-potsdam.de

We would appreciate it if you notify us when you use the dataset so that we can keep track of how it is used and take that into consideration when updating and improving the dataset.

Usage of the dataset and its earlier versions

Rogelj, J., Fricko, O., Meinshausen, M., Krey, V., Zilliacus, J. J., & Riahi, K. (2017). Understanding the origin of Paris Agreement emission uncertainties. Nature Communications

Meinshausen, M., Vogel, E., Nauels, A., Lorbacher, K., Meinshausen, N., Etheridge, D. M., ... & Krummel, P. B. (2017). Historical greenhouse gas concentrations for climate modelling (CMIP6). Geoscientific Model Development

Pan, X., den Elzen, M., Höhne, N., Teng, F., & Wang, L. (2017). Exploring fair and ambitious mitigation contributions under the Paris Agreement goals. Environmental Science & Policy

Climate Change Performance Index (2018)

Levin, K. and Rich D. (2017). Turning Points: Trends in Countries’ Reaching Peak Greenhouse Gas Emissions over Time, WRI

Climate Change Performance Index (2017)

Climate Transparency (2017). G20 Brown to Green Report

WWF Deutschland, Berlin (2017). Zukunft Stromsystem Kohleausstieg 2035 - Vom Ziel her denken. ISBN 978-3-946211-07-5

Faber, A., P. J. M. de Goede & M.P.C. Weijnen (2016). Long-term commitment for national climate policy in the Netherlands, WRR-Policy Brief no. 5, The Hague: WRR.