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Modernizing the U.S. Community Protocol

About the U.S. Community Protocol (USCP)

Greenhouse gas protocols provide authoritative guidance for communities to account for carbon pollution accurately and consistently. ICLEI USA led the development of the USCP in 2010.  The USCP is the industry-standard for community-scale inventories, with detailed methods tailored to the needs and data availability of US local governments. The protocol was updated in 2019, adding guidance on accounting for emissions and removal of carbon from the atmosphere due to forests and trees.

Public Comment is Now Open for USCP Dash

Over the past few months, ICLEI USA has worked closely with the USCP Steering Committee to develop the USCP Dash Protocol. The USCP Dash is designed to provide local governments with a snapshot of the emissions, inequities, and climate hazards that occur in their community. The USCP Dash Protocol has been drafted with local governments and other organizations on the steering committee and is now open to public comment.

The public comment period for the draft dash protocols and the draft dashboard during the public is from July 20th to August 5th. Please find the drafts of the equity, adaptation, and mitigation protocols below:

As the Dash was designed to support communities with a snapshot of a community’s climate & sustainability, the ideal outcome for a community using Dash would be a sustainability dashboard. You can find a draft of what ICLEI envisions for this dashboard below:

For providing comments on the draft dash protocols or the draft dashboard, please reach out to Calyn Hart ( or Eli Yewdall ( to provide feedback.

Modernizing the U.S. Community Protocol (USCP)

ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA (ICLEI) announced a new initiative to expand the U.S. Community Protocol for Accounting and Reporting of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (USCP). ICLEI and stakeholders will create two new methods — the USCP Plus and USCP Dash — for local and regional governments to view and manage emissions and increase action in line with ICLEI’s Five Pathways: decarbonization, resilience, equity, nature, and circularity. Local governments have long used USCP Standard to understand their emissions profiles and identify emissions-reduction strategies. USCP Standard has been integral to hundreds of climate action plans and will remain a viable method to account and report emissions. This three-method approach will make emissions accounting more accessible and holistic for a greater number of local and regional governments.

“I’m very excited for this modernization, which will create the USCP Plus, a more robust protocol for a city who desires that approach — for example, it could include hourly carbon emissions data; upstream, supply chain and consumption emissions; and climate adaptation and equity indicators,” said Angie Fyfe, ICLEI USA Executive Director. “When a city desires a fully automated greenhouse gas profile in as little time as a week — or even a day — the USCP Dash will become a game-changer enabling us to act swiftly to address inequality in our communities without taking our focus off halting global temperature increases.”

Developing new principles for greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting inventories requires input from experts across the climate field. The main goal of GHG inventories is to transform data into insights for effective climate planning. USCP Plus will help local governments develop more informed climate planning aligned with community needs by including equity and adaptation metrics. 

As was the case with the development of the USCP a decade ago, ICLEI will facilitate the update process with a steering committee of experts in local, regional, state, and national government climate mitigation, adaptation, and sustainability; climate justice; philanthropy; energy and emissions data; nature-based solutions, and circular economy.  Additionally, an open platform for input from all will help shape the future of holistic climate action. 

If you’d like to receive USCP modernization communications, including notification of the steering committee selection process, sign up for our USCP mailing list here

U.S. Community Protocol Framework for Dash, Standard, and Plus.



  • Q1: 
    • Full Committee Convening: Process vs. Process & Assessment (01/01/22)
    • Subcommittee Meetings: Dash protocol definitions, indicators, and data sources  (02/01/22)
  • Q2:
    • ICLEI USA staff compile USCP Dash (05/06/22) and apply committee edits (05/31/22)
    • Subcommittee Meetings: Standard & Plus Protocols (06/01/22)
    • USCP Dash draft open for public comment (opens 07/20/22 and closes 08/05/22)
  • Q3:
    • ICLEI Staff to address public comments, edit Dash then provide a revised version to the committee
    • Full Committee Convening: Review Dash edits, review standard and plus outlines (Final approval by 07/31/22)
    • USCP Dash published (08/10/22)
    • Subcommittee Meetings: Continue Standard and Plus discussions. GCC outline planning. Building off Dash (08/01/22 – 09/01/22)
  • Q4:
    • ICLEI Staff to compile draft USCP Standard and Plus Protocols (11/01/22)
    • Full Committee Convening: Review Standard and Plus drafts. Discuss connections to DASH. Provide committee members 1 month to review (Committee review by 1/15/23)


  • Q1
    • ICLEI Staff to address committee comments, revise drafts and open Standard and Plus for Public Comment (01/31/23)
    • Standard and Plus Public Comment Period (02/01/23 – 05/01/23)
    • Start of USCP Plus Pilot (02/01/23)
  • Q2:
    • Continue USCP Plus Pilot
    • ICLEI Staff to compile public comments and revise Standard and Plus drafts (05/01/23)
    • Full Committee Convening: Review new drafts, review pilot process (06/01/23)
  • Q3:
    • Continue USCP Plus Pilot
  • Q4:
    • Complete USCP Plus Pilot (10/01/23)
    • USCP Standard and Plus Published (10/01/23)