International Partners Release Pilot Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions

PRESS RELEASE: C40, ICLEI, WRI and partners achieve a significant milestone towards establishing a single standard for measuring emissions for cities.
The community protocol was developed in close collaboration with the WRI and the Cities Alliance Joint Work Programme to give cities a common tool for effective climate action planning and financing. Photo: Ricardo Jimenez/Cities Alliance
[14 May 2012] -- C40 Cities Climate Leadership Groupand ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, together with international partners, are launching a pilot version of the Global Protocol for Community-scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions (also called the “community protocol”).
This landmark effort represents a significant step forward in harmonising emissions measurement and reporting processes for cities of all sizes and geographies: the community protocol will be piloted in selected cities to establish a single minimum global standard for community-scale greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions measurement. A transparent, consistent and common approach provides cities with a much-needed tool for effective climate action planning and financing.
Developed in close collaboration with the World Resources Institute (WRI), and the Joint Work Programme of the Cities Alliance between the World Bank Group, UN-HABITAT and UNEP, the community protocol was introduced at an official side event during the UNFCCC climate meetings in Bonn, Germany.
The community protocol marks a major milestone in the year-long partnership between C40 and ICLEI, working in close consultation with local governments. In March 2012, the partners released a draft edition for public comment. More than 30 expert organisations worldwide and cities including Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Paris, Portland, and Taipei City provided comments, which were incorporated in the pilot version of the protocol launched today.
“Measurement and reporting underpins the local action driving C40 Cities leadership in addressing global climate change,” says Jay Carson, C40 Executive Director. “As such, the community protocol represents the interests, needs and challenges of C40 Cities.”
“The implementation of the protocol will strengthen efforts for measurable, reportable, verifiable local climate action. It will enhance access of local governments to global climate funds and help cities to raise the level of ambition of national governments to mitigate climate change.” says Konrad Otto-Zimmermann, Secretary General of ICLEI. “The Protocol complements and advances more than two decades of global efforts on local climate action, in which ICLEI has been pioneering.”
Ongoing efforts: expanded partnership, scope
Moving forward, C40, ICLEI, and WRI will incorporate pilot test results and expand the community protocol into a more comprehensive GHG accounting standard for community-scale emissions, including consideration of a full range of direct and indirect GHG emissions from urban activities. This will enable local governments to account for how demand for goods and services as well as local innovative technologies can impact a GHG footprint.
“The release of the pilot community-level protocol moves us toward a much-needed and common approach to accounting for greenhouse gas emissions in cities, a major driver of global emissions,” says Manish Bapna, Interim President, World Resources Institute. “We look forward to deepening our collaboration, as we build on the feedback and draw on our collective expertise to develop a comprehensive protocol for cities and communities.”
Ongoing efforts to develop the community protocol will continue to bring cities and their leadership together with leading global actors working with cities on climate and sustainability issues, including the Joint Work Programme on Cities and Climate Change of the UNEP, UN-HABITAT and the World Bank Group supported by Cities Alliance.
In next steps, the global partners will pilot the community protocol in selected cities around the world, based on expressions of interest. Pilot results and further feedback from practitioners and experts will be reflected in the first edition of the full community protocol to be published later this year.
For more information, please visit the World Resources Institute website
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