EUROSAI Audit on Climate Change
Report ID: 22

The aim of the audit was to assess the actions taken in the States of the Cooperating SAIs to implement the provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol to this Convention, Directive 2003/87/EC establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community and the requirements of the national legislation, in the scope of:

  • the performance of observations on climate change and its effects,
  • actions taken to mitigate climate change,
  • forecasts and assessments of the actual anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission and absorption levels,
  • reporting on the scope of the actions taken and planned to be taken in order to mitigate climate change and the achieved effects of these actions.

The audit demonstrated that in the period 2006 – 2008 in all the States of the Cooperating SAIs climate change observations were performed, covering climate variables and including analysis and interpretation of the research results. The scope and frequency of the research carried out in the individual States was different, but in all of them the basic climate variables were tested. The observation results were published in the reports of government agencies and statistical reports and they were also placed on the websites of the competent government institutions or meteorological services. All the States were involved in international cooperation in the scope of research and an exchange of observation data, e.g. through their participation in international networks and research projects, their work at the technical commissions of the World Meteorological Organisation and training courses. Climate change observations were funded with financial resources from the state budget, national, other than budget resources and international funds.

In all the States of the Cooperating SAIs, measures were taken to mitigate climate change through the limitation of their greenhouse gas emissions and the enhancement of the capacity of the sinks and reservoirs of these gases. Bodies responsible for taking measures to mitigate climate change were established. In 8 States, national and sectoral strategies, programmes or action plans necessary to stabilise and limit greenhouse gas emissions were prepared and in 2 States their preparation began. In 7 States the greenhouse gas emissions were reduced by 30% - 53% with respect to the base year (under the Kyoto Protocol: 1988, 1990, 1995 or 2000, depending on the State) and in 1 State the emissions grew by 85.3%. The per capita levels of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions varied between 5.1 – 16.4 Mg CO2e.

In the EU Member States, the provisions of the Emissions Trading Scheme Directive were implemented. National emission allowance allocation plans were developed, an emission allowance trading scheme was established and the required registries were kept. Among the 6 States of the Cooperating SAIs which were not EU Member States, emission allowances were traded pursuant to the Kyoto Protocol only in 1 country.

6 States of the Cooperating SAIs – Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Denmark, Israel, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Switzerland – were involved in the implementation of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects, whereas 5 of them – Denmark, Estonia, Poland, Russia and Ukraine – participated in Joint Implementation (JI) projects. The international cooperation in the field of the mitigation of climate change effects also included the implementation of educational projects, support for legislative activities and participation in the working groups of international agencies. The activities within the framework of international cooperation were funded with national resources and those from international financial institutions, such as the World Bank and UNDP.

In all the States of the Cooperating SAIs, the measures to mitigate climate change were monitored.

The required reports were prepared and submitted to the UNFCCC Secretariat and the European Commission. Certain reports were submitted with a delay.

Audit of the CO2 emissions trading systems
Report ID: 47

The Nordic–Baltic–Polish cooperative audit on emissions trading was performed in 2012 and involved the Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) of Denmark, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland and Sweden.1 The report builds on 13 individual national audit reports.

The aim of the cooperative audit was to assess:

• the effectiveness of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) in reducing national greenhouse gas emissions or fostering technology development
• the proper functioning of the EU ETS: national registries, greenhouse gas emissions permits and emissions reporting
• the implementation and administration of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI) programmes.

There are clear indications from the cooperative audit that the emissions limitation targets adopted in the Kyoto Protocol or through the EU Burden Sharing Agreement are likely to be met in all seven countries by the end of the first Kyoto Protocol commitment period (end of 2012). The countries have implemented the EU ETS in line with the current EU legislation and the provisions under the UNFCCC. However, the effectiveness of the system in reducing emissions is a major challenge. For the Nordic countries the EU ETS provided little incentive for long-term reductions in CO2 emissions as allowance prices have been low due to a general surplus of allowances in the system during the period 2008–2012. Taking into account the slower economic
growth than expected, emissions trading did not provide a strong market mechanism that has raised the costs of emissions related to production and given a competitive advantage to cleaner production.

The audits for Latvia, Lithuania and Poland have shown that emissions have increased at a slower pace than economic growth. However, in this audit it has not been possible to measure whether this can be attributed to the effectiveness of the EU ETS.


Report on the three-border area of Hungary, Slovenia and Austria
Report ID: 75

Environment and nature protection are decisive factors in modern society. As environmental problems do not stop at national borderlines, intensive international cooperation is needed in order to prevent and reduce pollution. Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) as independent organizations have a special function in covering these topics.

With the aim to contribute to a supranational approach on environmental issues, the Heads of the SAIs of the Republic of Hungary, Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Austria decided to carry out a coordinated audits on how to treat the frequently identical problems of environment and nature protection in the region located along the joint borders of the three countries. All SAIs already had experience with successful bilateral audit cooperation; this trilateral audit denotes a further step in cooperation and exchange of know-how between the SAIs of the Republic of Hungary, Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Austria.

The environmental audits carried out by the three SAIs covered the topics water, soil and nature protection. The audited area comprised the border region of the three countries with emphasis on the region of Raab/Rába and Mur/Mura border river basin and protected areas. The audits covered the period 2000-2005 with focus on the trends and recent developments.

The main objectives were to address:

• the quality of rivers, groundwater, soil and natural habitats,

• the situation of sewage disposal,

• the effectiveness of the measures taken by the authorities to foster environment and nature protection, and of the application of funds,

• deficiencies and need for further measures.

In the audits special emphasis was given to the transboundary cooperation of the competent authorities of the three countries in the field of environment protection.
The audits were carried out in the spirit of tight cooperation of the three SAIs. Beyond the in-depth reconciliation of the audit highlights with one another, each of the three SAIs carried out the audit under its own authority and as part of its annual national audit program. Audit results were published in separate national reports and condensed to the joint report, compiled by the three SAIs.


Report in german:

Fisheries management and monitoring of environmental impact on fish resources in the Baltic sea
Report ID: 159

1. In 2008 the Supreme Audit Institutions of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Sweden conducted an audit of environmental monitoring and fisheries management and control in the Baltic Sea. The Supreme Audit Institutions in Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Russia, and Sweden did not participate in the audit of the environmental monitoring in the Baltic Sea. The Supreme Audit Institutions of Latvia, Poland and Germany did not participate in the audit of fisheries management and control in the Baltic Sea. The audit was performed as a performance and compliance audit and covered the period 2005-2007.

2. The audit was divided into two parts: The first part was about environmental monitoring in the Baltic Sea and the second part was about fisheries management and control in the Baltic Sea.

3. The overall objective of the first part was to assess whether the signatory states of the Helsinki Convention are complying with the standards of the Cooperative Monitoring in the Baltic Marine Environment (COMBINE) and how the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) will affect national monitoring.

4. The overall objective of the second part was to conduct a review of fisheries management and control in the Baltic Sea.

5. The first and the second part of the audit share the following overall objective: How have the monitoring and fisheries control authorities contributed to preserve the marine environment and protect the fish stock in the Baltic Sea.

6. The relevant national legislation in the EU Member States is supposed to be within the frame set by the EU. However, the monitoring and fisheries management and control strategies may differ significantly among the individual countries, and comparative analyses may provide an overview of what is considered good practice. Furthermore, Russian fisheries legislation is, naturally, not adjusted to the EU-regulations. The Russian Federation’s national fishery legislation takes into consideration the requirements and provisions of nine international conventions and agreements related to fishery issues in the Baltic Sea. Moreover, Russia still adheres to the recommendations of the International Baltic Sea Fisheries Commission (IBSFC) in spite of the fact that it was dissolved in 2004.

7. The audit was planned and conducted as a parallel audit. A parallel audit means that the participating audit institutions audit the same audit objectives in their respective countries and identify relevant audit criteria and audit methods together. However, it is up to the individual supreme audit institution to decide how to conduct the audit and which audit criteria and audit methods to apply in the audit. The Joint Final Report is prepared on the basis of the data provided by the participating supreme audit institutions.

Joint Report of the International Coordinated audit of Chernobyl Shelter Fund
Report ID: 219

On April 26, 1986, the worst accident in the history of civilian nuclear power occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, where an explosion destroyed the core of reactor Unit 4 containing approximately 200 tons of nuclear fuel. The explosion and heat from the reactor core propelled radioactive material as much as six miles high, where it was then dispersed mainly over 60,000 square miles of Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. Smaller amounts of radioactive material spread over Eastern and Western Europe and Scandinavia and were even detected in the United States.

The Chernobyl Shelter Fund (CSF) was founded at European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in 1997 aimed at financing Shelter Implementation Plant (SIP).The Fund is guided by the set of rules regarding its resource management. Contributor Governments, mainly of G-7 and European Union, contribute to the Fund. The Assembly of Contributors supervises SIP implementation progress.

The Initial SIP costs were estimated at about USD 758 million (about EUR 585 million 4) in 1997. In 2003 and 2004 technical uncertainties and delays in the SIP fulfilment became apparent, especially with the construction of NSC, which resulted in cost escalation to EUR 840 million. The causes of those cost increases and the resulting need for additional steps to control cost and time overruns were discussed at all level including the Assemblies of Contributors. All G-85 Governments agreed to increase the scale of CSF.

Such increase was tied to the requirements to be fulfilled by Ukraine, including improvement of management, removal of procedural obstacles and timely delivery of Ukraine’s contributions. Thus, as of January 2006 estimated total costs were EUR 955 million and term for SIP completion was extended from 2005 to 2010.

Due to failure in timely realization of SIP, in 2006, the Special Subgroup on the Audit of Natural, Man-caused Disasters Consequences and Radioactive Wastes Elimination of the EUROSAI Working Group on Environmental Auditing decided to conduct an international coordinated audit of the Chernobyl Shelter Fund.

The aim of the audit was the establishment of actual state of affairs regarding legal, organizational and financial support of decommissioning the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (CNPP) and transforming destroyed CNPP Unit 4 into an environmentally safe system by fulfilling the Shelter Implementation Plan.