Economic and Policy Analysis of Climate Change
©FAO/Antonello Proto

The EX-Ante Carbon-balance Tool (EX-ACT)

The EX-Ante Carbon-balance Tool (EX-ACT) is based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) methodology for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventories. EX-ACT provides its users a consistent way of estimating and tracking the outcomes of agricultural interventions on GHG emissions. EX-ACT is the only GHG accounting tool to cover the entire agricultural sector including Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU,) inland and coastal wetlands, fisheries and aquaculture, agricultural inputs and infrastructure.

EX-ACT aims at i) identifying the climate mitigation outcomes of agricultural interventions (projects, policies and investments) at any stage of their implementation (ex ante, during and ex post) and at any level (local, regional and national); ii) supporting countries (public and private sectors) in accessing funds from international financial institutions; iii) strengthening the capacities of national and international stakeholders in estimating, monitoring and evaluating progress on emissions reduction goals; and iv) support policy makers in integrating climate change mitigation objectives into national strategies and international commitments, such as Nationally Determined Contributions or National Adaptation Plans.


  • A set of linked Microsoft Excel sheets.
  • Structured in ten logical topic modules.
  • Based on land use and management practices.
  • Proposes IPCC default values (Tier 1) and allows for including location-specific coefficients (Tier 2).
  • Allows to evaluate the additionality of the intervention.
  • Adapted to any scale (local, regional and national).
  • Applicable to any stage of implementation (ex ante, during and ex post).


EX-ACT continues to grow! EX-ACT v. 9.4 is now on-line.

What’s new?

  • Higher GHG disaggregation has been provided in a dedicated section of the Results module. The section details GHG fluxes for the without and with project scenarios by type of gas - CO2, CH4, N2O and other, on top of the net balance, supporting reporting progress under Paris Agreement and other international agreements.
  • The perennial cropland section allows to separate calculations for agroforestry systems undergoing soil management changes only and systems undergoing changes in the agroforestry structure itself (e.g. renewal, substitution) and/or soil management changes. Maximum agroforestry growth rates have also been added, in line with IPCC provision, to take into account the stage of maturity of existing and new systems analysed.
  • Additional guidance was included to ensure that users account fully for GHG fluxes generated through land use changes: if all the relevant sections of the tool are not completed, results will trigger an error and will only be shown partially. The error message guides the users to ensure all sections of the tool are completed as required.
  • In the afforestation sub-module,  Dead Organic Matter changes were aligned with biomass changes, allowing for a more realistic assessment of the carbon pool.
  • Minor corrections to bugs, formatting and warnings