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GHG Protocol for Cities

An Accounting and Reporting Standard for Cities

Responsible for more than 70 percent of global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, cities represent the single greatest opportunity for tackling climate change. The first step for cities to realize their potential is to identify and measure where their emissions come from -- you can’t cut what you don’t count.

GHG Protocol is working to give cities the standards and tools they need to measure their emissions, build more effective emissions reduction strategies, set measurable and more ambitious emission reduction goals, and to track their progress more accurately and comprehensively.

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About the GHG Protocol for Cities 

World Resources Institute, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) have partnered to create a GHG Protocol standard for cities known as Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC).

The GPC provides a robust framework for accounting and reporting city-wide greenhouse gas emissions. It seeks to:

  • Help cities develop a comprehensive and robust greenhouse gas inventory in order to support climate action planning
  • Help cities establish a base year emissions inventory, set reduction targets, and track their performance
  • Ensure consistent and transparent measurement and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions between cities, following internationally recognized greenhouse gas accounting and reporting principles
  • Enable city inventories to be aggregated at subnational and national levels
  • Demonstrate the important role that cities play in tackling climate change, and facilitate insight through benchmarking – and aggregation – of comparable data

The GPC is the newest and full publication that has taken into consideration feedback from the pilot test in 2013 and global public comments in 2012 and 2014 . It replaces all the previous draft versions of the GPC and supersedes the International Local Government Greenhouse Gas Emissions Analysis Protocol (community section) published by ICLEI in 2009 and the International Standard for Determining Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Cities published by the World Bank, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and UN-HABITAT in 2010.

Global Covenant of Mayors Online Training Course

Learn about the global coalition of mayors and city leaders committed to sustainable local climate action.

Supporting Documents

Complementing the GPC, we are developing calculation tools and country-specific guidance, and conducting research to help cities and stakeholders apply the GPC.

Guidance and Tools

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