C40 and Partners Call for Public Comment on Global Protocol for Community-scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Today C40 and partners, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, have released a second edition of the Global Protocol for Community-scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GPC) for a period of public comment until August 18th. The partners particularly welcome review by city officials, practitioners as well as technical experts in the fields of GHG measurement, energy, transportation, waste management, agriculture and forestry.

“Taking action on climate change begins with a thorough understanding of GHG emissions. The GPC provides a robust and consistent methodology for measuring city-scale scale impact. This latest version incorporates feedback from an earlier public comment period and pilot testing with cities.”

Michael Doust, Head of Measurement and Planning, C40

The GPC represents a joint effort between the core partners, C40, WRI and ICLEI, with additional collaboration by the World Bank, UNEP, and UN-HABITAT. As a global reporting standard, the GPC harmonizes the emissions measurement and reporting process for cities of all sizes and geographies, enabling cities and communities to measure and report GHG emissions in a consistent fashion, as well as to develop climate action plans.

The first edition of GPC was released in May 2012 and was piloted last year with 35 cities worldwide, including nine C40 Cities. Besides the pilot testing, the partners convened three meetings to seek the input of the GPC advisory committee, a group of experts from 29 organisations around the world. As part of the stakeholder engagement process, the partners also convened workshops with a broader group of city representatives, technical experts, and other global stakeholders; these took place in the cities of Beijing, Sao Paulo, London, Dar es Salaam, New Delhi, and Jakarta

Throughout the piloting process, cities provided valuable input and contributed to making the GPC more user-friendly and technically robust. The following highlights some of the key changes of this draft:

  • Boundary setting and reporting levels: The GHG Protocol ‘scopes’ framework has been adapted to suit the needs of a city-level inventory and help clarify boundaries for emission sources and reporting. Multiple reporting levels (BASIC and BASIC+) accommodate city differences in technical capacity and data availability.
  • Elaboration of calculation methods and procedures by sector:  This includes new guidance on data collection and GHG emissions calculation.
  • Comparison with IPCC national inventory practices and other city guidance documents: For cities that have followed other inventory approaches in the past, including adapting national inventory practices to a city, the GPC draft 2.0 shows how these different frameworks align with the GPC and to translate these into a GPC-compliant report.
  • Clarification on inventory aggregation: Increasingly, city GHG data is shared with national governments and informs national initiatives. The GPC draft identifies how multiple cities’ inventory data can be rolled up or aggregated at the national level while avoiding double counting.

The partners would like to thank all the pilot city representatives, the GPC advisory committee members and stakeholders for their valuable contributions to this project. We are looking forward to receiving comments and to launching the final standard later this year.

To comment on the new GPC draft 2.0, please download and submit the following form by email to gpc@wri.org by August 18th.