Technical FAQ: The Accuracy of Standard GHG Protocols

On February 2, 2021, Nature Communications published a study whose results indicate an under-reporting of city-level greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across 48 U.S. cities. The GHG accounting method in the study is atypical in local GHG accounting, it is not fully comparable with city inventories, and does not address some of the key policy levers that drive cities to conduct GHG inventories and develop GHG mitigation strategies. See our full statement.

To clarify the meaning of this study for local governments, ICLEI USA’s technical experts compiled this FAQ. If you have any further questions, please contact Kale Roberts at or reach out directly to your dedicated technical advisor.