The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) and ICLEI -- Local Governments for Sustainability, have agreed to establish a global standard for accounting and reporting community-scale greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions that can be used across multiple platforms. This “common approach” is intended to help local governments accelerate their emission-reduction activities while meeting the needs of climate financing, national monitoring, and reporting requirements, according to ICLEI.
The standard, scheduled to be released in November, is expected to result in consistent, robust, and comparable city inventories. The organizations also believe the standard will allow for accurate monitoring of progress against emissions targets, facilitate robust climate action planning, and provide standard guidance as local governments pursue environmental review, inventory certification, and other relevant policy making processes in their day-to-day operations.
The World Bank Group -- in partnership with United Nations (UN)-Habitat, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development -- supports the establishment of this international standard.
The C40 and ICLEI collectively represent more than 1,200 megacities, towns, and counties worldwide.
There are several different standards available for these local governments to measure and report community-scale GHG emissions, and many have resorted to establishing their own methodologies, ICLEI stated. “Different bodies measuring emissions in different ways -- while vying for localities to adhere to one standard over another -- causes inconsistencies in reporting and lessens their ability to act.”
Over the coming months, C40 and ICLEI will establish a common standard that will reflect the following, according to ICLEI:
- Policy Relevance -- Understanding the drivers of emissions, where local governments have the greatest opportunity to exert influence through local policies and programs.
- Comparability -- Allowing for comparisons, both within jurisdictions across time, and between jurisdictions with similar community characteristics.
- Consumption -- Promoting understanding of resident behavior.
- Aggregation -- Enabling aggregation of community emissions at the sub-national or national level without double counting of emissions sources.
C40 and ICLEI will incorporate the principles of existing standards and frameworks, including the following:
- International Local Government GHG Emissions Analysis Protocol (IEAP-ICLEI).
- International Standard for Reporting Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Cities (World Bank, UN-Habitat, and UNEP).
- European Commission Covenant of Mayors Baseline Emissions Inventory guidelines.
ICLEI USA members are helping to develop this international standard and the associated U.S. national supplement, the U.S. community protocol, which is undergoing development by ICLEI USA and a team of more than 80 advisory committee experts.
Also being announced at the C40 Cities Mayors Summit is a World Bank Group and C40 partnership that will enable cities to tap into existing World Bank Group support for GHG-reduction efforts. The creation of a common international standard for measuring and reporting GHG emissions are expected to help the World Bank Group and other agencies compare efforts and track city progress.