Resource centre for greenhouse gas accounting
Ministère de la Transition Écologique
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Carbon base

User guide


The tools

The Base Carbone® makes available the following tools to web users:

  • An online consultation mode for emission factors (and source data)
  • Downloadable CSV files containing these data
  • Online, downloadable documentation
  • A contribution module (available from February 2015)
  • A forum

To consult the data and the documentation, you need to be registered and logged in. To be able to download the data, you also need a "pro-pack" or "internal pack" license.


Consulting online data

Choose a consultation mode

Start by going to Base Carbone > Data > Online consultation. You will then be asked to choose from several consultation modes:

If your consultation is in the framework of the implementation of a regulatory or voluntary GHG inventory, you can:

  • Either, select "all data > all" mode, enabling you to find the emission factors to carry out a complete inventory for the three scopes
  • Or, select "regulatory filters > article 75 Grenelle II Act", which will give you access to the factors for scopes 1 and 2. Furthermore, only the combustion part will be selected for fuels.

If your consultation is in the framework of article L1431-3 of the French Code of Transport relating to CO2 information for transport services, select mode: "article L1341-3 of the Code of Transport".

If your consultation is for any other reason, select the mode: "all data > all".


Search by category or tag

If you have clicked on "all data > all" mode, you should see the following screen:

If you have chosen a regulatory filter, the screen is similar but there are fewer categories.

Here you have two solutions for searching for data:

  • Either, you can search by "tag", by entering a keyword in the top-left data entry field. This solution offers you a quick way of finding what you are looking for, but requires you to have already used the application a little in order to understand what type of item you might find.
  • Or, you can search by category, by clicking on one of the files. Keep clicking on the files until you obtain a list of results. The explanation of this tree structure per category is detailed on the categories page.

Note: if you are not consulting in the framework of the implementation of a GHG inventory, do not worry about the terminology (scope 1, scope 2, scope 3).

Once your keyword has been entered, or your search per category throws up no more files, you will arrive at a list of results.


Results list

The results list is presented as follows:

On this screen you can see:

  • on the left, 3 filters (unit, status and geography), for limiting the number of items returned in the list
  • on the right, the list of items (here, 47 items)


To quickly find the item of interest to you without searching through the 47 items, you can check filters to limit the number of results returned.

The status filter corresponds to the state of validity of the item. For more information about this, see the status page.

The geography filter corresponds to the geographical zone for which the item may be used. If your carbon accounting exercise is for continental France (metropolitan France excluding Corsica), you can use the items with the geographical scope: "continental France", "Europe" or "World".

Note: sometimes you may find the same item with both "Europe" scope and "continental France" scope. If the activity that you are studying is purely national, select the items with the "continental France" scope. If, on the other hand, it concerns a multinational activity, select the items with the "Europe" scope.

The unit filter allows you to choose the unit for the item.


For example, if here you choose the filters: "status: validated" and "unit: kgCo2e / liter", you will only find 8 results in the list of items:


Knowing how to interpret what is said about an item

The items in the Base Carbone® are presented as follows:

We find the following information:

  • status: here, "generic valid" (green checkmark)
  • item name: here, "gasoline - road (pump)"
  • value and unit: here, "2.79 kgCO2e / liter"
  • logo and category containing the item: here, fuel logo
  • geographical scope of item: here, "continental France"
  • name of organization that proposed the data: here, "ADEME"
  • a "see documentation" link which opens in a new browser tab for the documentation chapter in which the item definition is detailed and the manner in which it was calculated is described; the tree structure for the documentation is similar to that for the data consultation
  • a "display detail" link for further information about the item

If you click on "display details", you will see the following block:

Here you will find new information. First of all, general information:

  • the breadcrumb trail of the category containing the item
  • the tags or keywords associated with the item; if you click on them, the system will do a search for this tag/word and return to you all the items containing it
  • the regulations using these item
  • the validity period of the item, if applicable
  • the uncertainty associated with the item

Next, the table of values broken down per gas and per emission category.

Note: Certain items are not broken down per gas. Others are not broken down per emission category. If an item is not broken down either by gas or by emission category, there is no table of values.

Here, for example, we can see that the combustion of one liter of gasoline generates 2.23 kg of CO2 in exhaust emissions; or 2.26 kg of CO2e (equivalent CO2) if we take account of the parasite emissions of CH4 and N2O linked to the incomplete combustion of the gasoline. We can also see that the upstream phase (extraction, refining, transport and distribution) for this liter of gasoline will have generated 0.528 kg of CO2e.

Lastly, we have administrative information:

  • reminder of the status of the item
  • name and logo of the "contributor" organization
  • date of creation of the item and of any update
  • source (the documentation is more detailed on this point)
  • a transparency score (not represented for this item)
  • a quality score out of 6 (not represented for this item)



You should now have all the keys to enable you to consult online items. If you have any questions relating to these, please feel free to ask your questions on the forum (available from February 2015).


Downloading data

If you subscribe to an "internal pack" or "pro pack" license, you can download the data in CSV format for use in your tool. Likewise, you can download the associated documentation.

The data and the documentation are versioned.

The CSV file contains the same data as the online consultation module. An item is represented there on one or more lines. If this concerns an item that is not broken down per emission category, it is represented on one line. If it is broken down per emission category, it is represented on several lines. In this case, in column A of the CSV file it is stated as "Item" ("Elément" in French) for the TOTAL line of the item and, below, "Category" ("Poste" in French) for all the emission categories of the item. The "gasoline" item above is therefore represented on three lines: one TOTAL "item" line, and two "categories" lines.

The other columns of the file are fairly intuitive.

If you are using Excel, we recommend that you apply a filter to the first line in order to browse through more easily the many lines of this file.



65450 registered members
5311 validated emission factors
4266 published GHG inventories
19 sector guides