GHG Protocol’s Land Sector and Removals Guidance builds on the Corporate Standard and Scope 3 Standard, explaining how companies should account for and report GHG emissions and removals from agricultural and forest management practices, land use change, bioenergy, carbon dioxide removal technologies, and related activities in GHG inventories.
The draft guidance was released in September 2022 for public review by a Review Group and pilot testing by a Pilot Testing Group. Throughout the two-month public comment period, GHG Protocol received over 3,350 individual comments from over 300 reviewers representing businesses, NGOs, academia, and government institutions worldwide. GHG Protocol had 96 pilot testing companies and supporting partners share feedback, where 70 of the pilot testers prepared pilot GHG inventories and their teams provided over 1,150 individual comments on the Guidance.
The GHG Protocol secretariat has analyzed this feedback and identified topline themes, one of which is a call for greater simplicity in the final version of the guidance. GHG Protocol plans to address this through several changes to the structure of the guidance, including separating requirements and guidance/recommendations into different sections, providing an executive summary for non-technical audiences, and adding case studies to provide practical examples of how to apply the Guidance.
The GHG Protocol Secretariat also plans to address many key questions as it works with the Advisory Committee and Technical Working Group to finalize the guidance. Some of the questions raised in the feedback process are:
- How can the Land Sector and Removals Guidance further standardize land use change GHG emissions accounting guidance while maintaining alignment with related programs/policies on deforestation and ecosystem conversion?
- At what scales should companies account for GHG emissions and removals on the lands they source from based on their traceability? How can they identify “working lands” within those regions that produce the goods they source?
- What requirements are necessary to ensure robust reporting on CO2 removals in GHG inventory, including how to ensure ongoing storage of sequestered carbon and accounting for losses of stored carbon that may occur?
- What changes to the Guidance are needed to address stakeholder concerns with model-based and measurement-based methods to estimate land GHG emission and carbon stock changes?
- What changes to the Guidance are needed to address stakeholder concerns with accounting for forest carbon stock changes and cropland carbon stock changes?
- How should increases in carbon stored in long-lived harvested wood products be accounted for and reported?
In the coming months, the GHG Protocol Secretariat will be convening the Land Sector and Removals Guidance Advisory Committee and Technical Working Group to discuss the proposed workplan to revise and publish the Guidance. If you’d like to receive updates about the Land Sector and Removal Guidance process, and other announcements from GHG Protocol, please subscribe here.