On Monday during COP20, the World Resources Institute (WRI), C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) and ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) will unveil the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC), the first global standard to measure greenhouse gas emissions from cities. GPC will be the most widely endorsed standard for cities to measure and report their greenhouse gas emissions.
The U.S. EPA has proposed standards to limit power sector emissions, which, once adopted, are expected to reduce carbon pollution from power plants by 25 percent by 2020. But as we recently noted in our public comment on the proposal, increasingly cost-effective efficiency and renewable energy opportunities mean that the EPA can and should require even greater emissions reductions.
At COP 20 in Lima, country representatives are coming together to discuss plans to reign in global greenhouse gas emissions.
A new interactive from WRI reveals the history of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, as well as what needs to happen to stay within world’s “carbon budget” and prevent the most disastrous impacts of climate change.
WRI, C40, and ICLEI created the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC). Over the last two years, more than 100 cities have used the GPC to measure and reduce their emissions. Specifically, WRI worked with partners to provide technical support to 15 Latin American cities and 12 Chinese cities.
Cities already contribute about 70 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. With 70 percent of the global population projected to live in cities by 2050, the situation is poised to worsen. To manage these emissions, we need to measure them, know where they come from, and know what drives them—and that requires a robust tool to accurately measure and track them over time.
Over the last two years, more than 100 cities across the globe have used the GPC to measure emissions and take actions. Specifically, WRI worked with partners to provide technical support to 15 Latin American cities and 12 Chinese cities.
In Latin America, WRI worked with the Inter-American Development Bank, the Andean Cities Footprint Project and other partners to provide technical advice and train local practitioners on how to use the GPC. In China, WRI experts provided technical support to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the China Beijing Environment Exchange, the Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion and more. Collectively, WRI trained more than 200 city officials and practitioners in these regions.
These 27 cities currently emit about 460 million tons of carbon dioxide each year, about 1 percent of the global total. They now have the tool they need to start reducing these emissions, a move that will help curb climate change globally.
The Latin American cities have identified more than 200 actions they can take to lower their emissions, while the Chinese cities are using the GPC to track progress toward their emissions-reduction goals. WRI continues to support them to translate their goals and plans into action, which collectively can avoid 77 million tons of carbon dioxide per year by 2050, about the equivalent of Portugal’s current annual emissions.
With China at an economic and environmental crossroad, ongoing cooperation on climate and clean energy with the U.S. can yield significant social and economic rewards for both countries. The benefits of this course can and must go together to tackle climate change and create vibrant economies for the 21st century.