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.
Later this week, the European Council will decide on a target to further reduce the EU’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030.
At issue is whether the Council will decide to reduce emissions by “at least 40 percent” from 1990 levels—leaving the door open to increase ambition in negotiation with other countries—or cap reductions at just 40 percent, locking in a lower goal and possibly influencing other countries to do the same.
Through the Compact of Mayors and parallel initiatives, cities are making ambitious commitments to curb emissions, adopting new greenhouse gas emissions measuring standards, and supporting the financing of low-carbon infrastructure.
What do Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States have in common? They are among the few countries that are linking their national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data with GHG data from individual industrial facilities.
Inventories are a fundamental tool for countries and facilities to measure and manage their GHG emissions. Establishing these linkages and sharing data between different inventory systems will continue to be critical in improving the quality of inventories, increasing their usefulness, reducing emissions at both the national and facility level, and enhancing their value for decision makers.
Although there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to developing a sustainable national GHG inventory system, countries can learn from each other’s experiences: What’s worked and why? What hasn’t worked and why? And how have countries built their capabilities for compiling a national inventory over time?