Following the historic signing of the Paris Agreement to address climate change currently happening 2016 Climate Summit in Washington DC, action from all sectors, including local government is running strong. One of the signs of that action is the number of cities in the US and around the globe now participating in the Compact of Mayors. Launched at the 2014 United Nations Climate Summit, the Compact of Mayors is the world’s largest coalition of city leaders addressing climate change by pledging to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, tracking their progress and preparing for the impacts of climate change. In support of this effort ICLEI partnered with local an Alameda County joint-powers authority, StopWaste, to hold a dedicated workshop on April 19, 2016 to support 11 jurisdictions to fulfill their commitments or be compact-ready for those not already signed on. The workshop was an opportunity to introduce the Compact of Mayors to the group and outline data needs and methodologies for creating a GPC compliant greenhouse gas inventory.
After reviewing the goals and requirements of the Compact, ICLEI staff, Michael Steinhoff and JR Killigrew introduced the importance of how to measure the success of the global agreement through the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Emissions or GPC. While the calculation methodologies are the same as those within US Community Protocol, The GPC is focused on how emissions are reported with an emphasis on transparency and comparability for local governments across the world. This point is particularly useful for understanding the collective commitments of all cities who have signed on to the Compact of Mayors. A key aspect of GPC is a Scopes-based greenhouse gas reporting framework which is designed to help prevent double counting on a geographic basis while allowing for the potential to roll-up and create a comprehensive regional greenhouse gas inventory. This framework becomes particularly useful for regions with many cities working together to gain efficiencies in the GHG inventory process, as is the case in Alameda County.
A highlight of the program was to reassure these Bay-Area cities with long histories of working on climate protection did not need to start over with their inventory work by illustrating the flexible approaches that GPC accommodates to allocation of emissions generating activities that cross boundaries such as on-road transportation and waste management. The session also provided the audience with a greater understanding of how to document their activity data and emission factors through data quality indicators and the use of GPC Notation Keys and the best practices around how to use them and proactively identify where apparent gaps in an inventory exist and list them as either indicated elsewhere (IE), not estimated (NE), not occurring (NO) or confidential (C). These simple additions will be crucial to understanding the comparability of cities globally and create reliable benchmarks for comparison.
The discussion turned to looking data sources for transboundary emissions and reviewed some options for allocating emissions among the cities with replicable methods. Finally, ICLEI demonstrated ClearPath and an overview of how local governments can enter data using location fields to assign scope and GPC reference numbers, identify the appropriate data quality indicator fields and notation keys. In addition, attendees learned about the GPC Summary Report export in ClearPath which provides a comprehensive breakdown of all the existing records for GPC compliance.
At the end the audience received an introduction to the other resources available through the Compact of Mayors such as Climate Risk and Adaptation Framework and Taxonomy tool, CRAFT, as well as the two reporting platforms available, Carbonn Climate Registry (cCR), and CDP.
The workshop proved to be a great opportunity in bringing together local governments to provide technical support and networking around the Compact of Mayors.
For more information about the Compact of Mayors, please visit: http://www.compactofmayors.org/
To learn more about StopWaste, please visit: http://www.stopwaste.org/
Scopes & Notation Keys images come from GPC Protocol
Compact Compliance image comes from Compact of Mayors website