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.
China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) created GHG accounting and reporting guidelines for 10 industries, using the GHG Protocol’s (GHGP) framework and methodologies created by WRI and WBCSD. In 2014, NDRC mandated GHG reporting for more than 20,000 companies and organizations, all of which will measure and manage emissions based on GHGP guidelines.
China’s size and rapid growth have made it an economic powerhouse. Yet it’s come at a cost: China is the world’s leading greenhouse gas emitter, burning almost as much coal as the rest of the world combined. The country’s energy and manufacturing sectors account for more than 80 percent of its energy consumption.
Despite Chinese companies’ role in fueling climate change, most do not measure or manage their greenhouse gas emissions.
WRI, in partnership with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), created the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol Corporate Standard, a framework for companies to consistently, accurately account for and reduce emissions. In 2013, China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) created GHG accounting and reporting guidelines for 10 industries, using the GHG Protocol’s framework and methodologies as a reference. In 2014, NDRC mandated GHG reporting for more than 20,000 companies and organizations, all of which will measure and manage emissions based on guidelines mentioned above. Companies reporting their emissions as part of China’s pilot Emission Trading Scheme (ETS)—which comprises five cities and two provinces—will also use the standards.
Since 2009, WRI has organized regular workshops and training with NDRC and local officials to make the case for mandatory emissions reporting. WRI worked closely with the China Business Council for Sustainable Development and the China Electricity Council to develop GHG accounting methodologies specifically for the chemical and power sectors. And WRI experts advised on the development of online GHG reporting systems for Jiangsu Province, Guangdong Province and Qingdao city.
NDRC has laid the political and technical groundwork for a national GHG reporting program. It will raise companies’ awareness on carbon management and help the government track emissions performance. Measuring emissions is the first step in getting companies to reduce them. If China — the world’s biggest emitter — can decrease its corporate sector emissions, it would help prevent warming globally.
What’s more, a robust GHG reporting program is imperative for creating a national emissions trading scheme, which is a key policy instrument for China to mitigate GHG emissions.
An Accounting and Reporting Standard for National and Subnational Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals
The GHG Protocol Mitigation Goal Standard provides guidance for designing national and subnational mitigation goals and a standardized approach for assessing and reporting progress toward goal achievement.
The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol’s Mitigation Goal Standard, launched today, provides the first-ever standardized approach for designing, assessing, and reporting progress on a variety of national and subnational mitigation goals. The standard can help governments set emissions-reduction targets, meet domestic and international emissions reporting obligations to groups like the UNFCCC, and ensure that efforts to reduce emissions are actually achieving their intended results.