Modernizing the U.S. Community Protocol

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Today, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA (ICLEI) announced a new initiative to expand the US 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. By including equity and adaptation metrics, USCP Plus will help local governments develop more informed climate planning aligned with community needs. 

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

Timeline

2021

  • August: USCP Dash exploratory pilot kickoff with 12 Pennsylvania communities
  • September:  steering committee application posted
  • October: steering committee members selected
  • November: steering committee convenes 

2022

  • Q2: USCP Dash release
  • Q3: USCP Plus draft
  • Q4: USCP Plus pilot communities

2023

  • Q2: USCP Plus release

About the Us 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.

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https://icleiusa.org/2021049-2/