Learn more about the launch of the First Global Standard to Measure Greenhouse Gas Emissions from cities, please visit CityTalk: A Blog by ICLEI. This video was produced by IISD.
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On December 8, 2014, the World Resources Institute (WRI), C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40)and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) launched the first widely endorsed standard for cities to measure and report their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at a COP20 event featuring mayors and officials from cities around the world. The Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC) uses a robust and clear framework to establish credible emissions accounting and reporting practices, thereby helping cities develop an emissions baseline, set mitigation goals, create more targeted climate action plans and track progress over time. By using the GPC, cities will also strengthen vertical integration of data reporting to other levels of government, and should gain improved access to local and international climate financing. The GPC is consistent with the more detailed guidance established in the 2012 US Community Protocol, and US local governments are encouraged to use the two protocols hand-in-hand. ICLEI USA’s ClearPath software enables users to perform inventories consistent with both the US and global protocols.
Cities are an integral part of the global effort to tackle climate change, but they have been lacking a consistent and transparent way to measure and report emissions – until now. Over 100 cities worldwide are now using beta versions of the GPC to measure their emissions, including 35 cities that piloted the standard over the last year. The 100 cities using GPC represent over 1.1 Gigatons of GHG emissions and are home to more than 170 million people, comparable to Brazil’s entire emissions and population.
Gino Van Begin, Secretary General of ICLEI, said: “As a global city network we support local governments with practical technical guidance and conduct climate advocacy on their behalf in various international forums. We do this to guide their local climate action and achieve ambitious goals. This new Protocol is one of the most strategic documents released this year to support cities and towns across the globe. We hope all local governments will use GPC and report according to this new standard.”
The GPC also underpins the global Compact of Mayors, the world’s largest cooperative effort
among cities to reduce GHG emissions, track progress and prepare for the impacts of climate change. The Compact – endorsed by preeminent global city networks – has adopted the GPC as part of its core activities to raise the level of ambition and quality of city GHG inventory reporting. Using GPC, cities can report emissions through the carbonn Climate Registry (cCR), the Compact’s designated central repository, as well as through existing city reporting platforms such as the CDP.
“The Compact of Mayors that we launched at the UN Climate Summit is drawing attention to the powerful work cities are doing to confront climate change and helping them build on their progress,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change and C40 Board Chair. “The GPC’s standardized system for measuring and reporting emissions is a critical component of the Compact. It will help cities see what climate strategies are working, better target their resources, and hold themselves accountable for results. The more cities take part in the Compact and adopt the GPC, the greater impact it will have.”
“Building a greenhouse gas emissions inventory enables city leaders to manage their emissions reduction efforts, allocate resources and develop comprehensive climate action plans,” said C40 Chair, Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes. “With the launch of the GPC, cities now have a consistent, transparent and internationally recognized approach to measuring and reporting citywide emissions, allowing for credible comparison and aggregation across timescales and geographies. I strongly encourage other cities around the world to join the Compact of Mayors and take up this new standard as a key step in the global fight against climate change.”
To learn more about the COP20, please visit CityTalk: A Blog by ICLEI