After a successful nine-month pilot test from May 2013 to January 2014, the improved second version of the Global Protocol for Community-scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GPC 2.0) is now open for public comments until 18 August 2014. Practitioners and technical experts in the fields of energy, transportation, waste management, agriculture and forestry, and city officials are invited to comment.
The GPC is a global framework that harmonizes emissions measurement and reporting processes for cities of all sizes, economies, and geographies. Jointly developed by ICLEI, WRI, C40 and with additional collaboration by the World Bank, UNEP, and UN-HABITAT, the GPC also enables cities to develop effective climate action plans and low-emission development strategies.
Initially released in 2012, the GPC marks an unprecedented international consensus on GHG accounting and reporting emissions. It aids the growing number of cities voluntarily reporting to the carbonn Cities Climate Registry (cCCR). The cCCR is the world’s largest reporting platform on climate actions and commitments. The GPC equips reporting cities to consistently measure and track their actions and make a credible case for accessing local and international climate financing.
Throughout the GPC piloting process, 35 cities provided valuable input and contributed to making the GPC more user-friendly and technically robust. The following are some new contents in the new draft:
- Boundary setting and reporting levels: The GHG Protocol ‘scopes’ framework has been adapted to suit the needs of a city-level inventory and help clarify boundaries for emission sources and reporting. Multiple reporting levels (BASIC and BASIC+) accommodate city differences in technical capacity and data availability.
- Elaboration of calculation methods and procedures by sector: This includes new guidance on data collection and GHG emissions calculation.
- Comparison with IPCC national inventory practices and other city guidance documents: For cities that have followed other inventory approaches in the past, including adapting national inventory practices to a city, the GPC draft 2.0 shows how these different frameworks align with the GPC and to translate these into a GPC-compliant report.
- Clarification on inventory aggregation: Increasingly, city GHG data is shared with national governments and informs national initiatives. The GPC draft identifies how multiple cities’ inventory data can be rolled up or aggregated at the national level while avoiding double counting.
- Guidance on setting goals and tracking emissions over time: The GPC draft 2.0 follows international best practices, including those in the emerging GHG Protocol Mitigation Goals Standard, in elaborating how cities can set different types of GHG reduction goals and measure progress consistently as cities change in administrative boundaries or adopt better data and methodologies.
Besides the pilot test, the GPC authors convened three meetings to seek comments and inputs of the GPC advisory committee, a group consisting of experts from 29 organizations around the world. As part of the inclusive stakeholder process, the authors also convened a broader group of city representatives, technical experts, and other stakeholders from different parts of the world in Beijing, Sao Paulo, London, Dar es Salaam, New Delhi, and Jakarta to seek their inputs and share good practices.