Global standard launched to measure urban emissions

The first global standard for cities to measure and report their greenhouse gas emissions was launched last week at the UN climate talks in Peru. The standard will help cities track progress in achieving climate action plans, which could open doors to more climate financing.

Developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI), C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventories (GPC) will help cities develop an emissions baseline, set mitigation goals, create more targeted climate action plans and track progress over time. It could even help cities better access local and international climate financing because it improves vertical integration of data reporting to other levels of government.

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 gigatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and are home to more than 170 million people.

“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 recognised approach to measuring and reporting citywide emissions, allowing for credible comparison and aggregation across timescales and geographies.”

GPC was developed with the support of the World Bank, UN-HABITAT and UNEP.


Photo credit: joiseyshowaa, flickr/Creative Commons

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