The report provides comprehensive, step-by-step guidance for policymakers to design mandatory greenhouse gas reporting programs.

Key Findings

Four broad steps are necessary to establish a mandatory greenhouse gas reporting program:

  • Determine program objectives
  • Create an enabling environment for program design and implementation
  • Determine program structure and requirements
  • Conduct program review

Further, six key program design elements define the structure of reporting programs and ensure reliability, accuracy, consistency, transparency, and completeness of the data. These elements and decision points include:

  • Defining coverage in terms of applicable entities and emissions sources and GHGs (who reports which emissions)
  • Providing calculation methodologies for different emission sources and data monitoring requirements (how to calculate and measure emissions)
  • Determining reporting requirements and schedules (what to report and how often)
  • Developing reporting platforms and data disclosure rules (where to report and who has access to reported information)
  • Deciding on verification procedures for quality assurance and control (who verifies what and how)
  • Establishing enforcement rules (what measures to apply in case of noncompliance)

Executive Summary

The report, Guide for Designing Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting Programs, a collaboration between the Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR) and the World Resources Institute, offers guidance for policymakers and practitioners in developing mandatory GHG reporting programs.

Over the past decade, greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting programs have emerged at the regional, national, and subnational levels to provide information on emission sources and trends. This report draws on the experience of 13 existing and proposed programs to guide policymakers and practitioners in developing new GHG reporting programs to fulfill domestically relevant objectives. It also provides a useful reference to stakeholder groups that wish to participate effectively in the development and design of these programs. Stakeholders may include the entities that expect to be regulated, industry associations, environmental and academic groups, multilateral organizations, and funding agencies.

This report highlights the major design elements of a reporting program and discusses various factors influencing decisions under each element. An attempt has been made to identify design options and provide practical recommendations while recognizing that reporting programs are context specific.

Although the emphasis is on the design of a mandatory reporting program, many aspects of the report are relevant for developing voluntary programs.