The India Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Program, launched in July 2013, aims to offer a meaningful starting place by providing a standardized method for companies to measure and manage their greenhouse gas emissions. Conceived in partnership with WRI, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the program provides Indian businesses with tools and technical assistance to measure their emissions, identify reduction opportunities, establish short and long-term reduction goals, and track their progress based on the GHG Protocol, the most widely used emissions accounting and reporting standard in the world.
The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol celebrates its 15th anniversary this year; it was established to develop and promote the use of best practices for accounting and reporting GHG emissions. Stephen Russell reflects on the project's history and impact, and discusses next steps for an evolving GHG accounting landscape.
Today, the GHG Protocol is releasing a survey to scope out the need for a new standard to help companies quantify and report the “avoided emissions” of goods and services that contribute to a low-carbon economy—such as low-temperature detergents, fuel-saving tires, or teleconferencing equipment and services.
Low-carbon development has become the core theme of China’s urbanization. In fact, it’s one of the country’s key strategies to achieve its target of reducing carbon intensity by 40-45 percent by 2020.
China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has identified 36 pilot cities and assigned them several tasks.
Measuring greenhouse gases is critical for companies and governments looking to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHGP), created by WRI and The World Business Council on Sustainable Development, is becoming the global standard for measuring GHG emissions. The Swiss-based International Organization for standardization (ISO), the world’s leading developer of standards for corporate accountability, recently adopted the GHG Protocol. Various ISO standards are being used by more than half a million organizations in 159 countries. Standardization will promote a convergence of greenhouse accounting practices globally, and in this way will reduce costs, improve comparability, and strengthen the capacity of corporate leaders to make informed decisions on greenhouse gas risks and opportunities.
A new Greenhouse Gas Protocol tool to help Chinese cities measure and manage their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions was launched today in Beijing.
Mexico currently ranks twelfth in the world in terms of GHG emissions. Although not bound by Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions limits, the country is committed to fighting global warming. Mexico’s new climate change strategy proposes a graduated process that begins with GHG accounting and reporting, progresses to energy sector GHG caps, and culminates in a national cap-and-trade system linked to international GHG markets. WRI provided the GHG Protocol accounting tools that undergird the policy and provided technical consultation to the Mexican government. WRI also helped launch a Mexican industry-led voluntary GHG accounting program in 2004. WRI is working with partner organizations to replicate the model in Brazil, China, India, and the Philippines.
Brazil currently ranks fifth in the world in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The country’s energy mix, long dominated by hydro power, is trending towards fossil fuels, and the Brazilian general public is increasingly concerned with climate change.
Although not bound by Kyoto Protocol GHG emissions limits, Brazil is committed to fighting global warming. In partnership with WRI and other organizations, the Brazilian government launched the Brazil GHG ProtocolProgram, a voluntary public registry of corporate greenhouse gas emissions. Participants will log annual inventories of emissions and will receive training on accounting practices and management reduction strategies. Sixteen major corporations joined the effort, the first program of its kind in South America.
Standardizing how greenhouse gases are measured and reported lays the foundation for future mitigation efforts. Our goal is to expand the program and bring GHG accounting tools and training to the agricultural, biofuel, and forestry sector, which are major sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Brazil.
China makes and uses almost half of the cement in the world. Between now and 2030, some estimates are that China will erect half of all buildings expected to be constructed in the world. Cement is an energy intensive and polluting business currently responsible for 15% of China’s emissions of carbon dioxide.
Working with China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)
and the China Building Materials Academy, WRI is providing greenhouse
gas (GHG) accounting tools and training to help cement companies
measure GHG emissions and better understand their energy needs. It’s a critical step in helping a booming industry meet government
mandated energy reduction goals.
The GHG Protocol (developed by WRI and the World Business
Council on Sustainable Development) is the basis for the
program. It has been adopted by China’s NDRC as a standard in its efforts to lead national programs to address global
warming. Our aim is to work with the NDRC to expand use
of the GHG Protocol into other energy- and GHG-intensive
industries (oil and gas, petrochemical, chemical, power
generation, and iron and steel).
In the lead-up to the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties 15 in Copenhagen, in December 2009, it became very clear that issues around accountability and transparency in greenhouse gas accounting were going to be a central focus. While the Kyoto Protocol includes robust accounting standards for industrialized countries, it was looking as if a new ‘pledge and review’ system’ would do away with those standards, thus removing any ability to compare the efforts of countries or create a common understanding of what is occurring country to country. In addition, increased transparency around developing country actions was becoming not only central but controversial, creating tension between the U.S. and China.
WRI identified these issues early on and worked to ensure that the complex but vital accounting topic was understood as a core outcome of the Copenhagen process. WRI also worked with key partners to provide analysis and textual solutions both on why Annex I accounting rules were vital and why it was possible for the US to sign up to these standards.
WRI used its analysis to increase awareness in the U.S. with the White House, Senate and State Department of the importance of the issue and with other countries to provide solutions and context. This work directly resulted in specific text around developed country, or Annex I, targets in the Copenhagen Accord around the need to “ensure that accounting of such targets and finance is rigorous, robust and transparent” (REF) a hook to building the system we need. No other institution was focused heavily on this outcome. WRI also started working early in China to increase understanding both in China and internationally concerning what systems for Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) China already has in place, thus highlighting where transparency existed and could be enhanced in China. We engaged top Chinese experts and negotiators more than a year before Copenhagen on these issues and continued to provide solutions throughout the UNFCCC meeting. WRI was far ahead of other organizations in providing both the analysis and the space to create understanding and trust among countries. While the issue became polarized during the meeting, it is fair to say that WRI’s background work provided a basis for the final transparency text in the Copenhagen Accord.