C40 cities tackle emissions measurement and reporting in Africa

This month, C40 – in partnership with CDP – convened a workshop on emissions measurement and reporting for all C40 cities in Africa. Hosted by the City of Johannesburg, the workshop focused on building cities’ capacity to measure greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, develop climate action plans, and collect and report on climate data.

Representatives from Addis Ababa, Cape Town, Dar es Salaam, Durban, Johannesburg, Lagos, Nairobi, and Tshwane gathered to discuss solutions to regional challenges to measurement and reporting. Of particular importance to the group was improving systems and processes for collecting and managing data to ensure its availability and quality.

“It is our objective to build capacity in all the relevant sectors within the city so that climate change and emissions measurement is properly institutionalized within the organization,” said Tiaan Ehlers, Executive Director for Environment and Infrastructure Services at the City of Johannesburg. “This will include creating a better understanding of the value of measurement and reporting, identifying and developing quality data sets, and using the reported information for better climate action planning.”

African cities in attendance received an overview of the global standard for cities to measure and report their GHG emissions, called the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC), launched at COP20 in Lima. Participants felt that the ability to develop a comprehensive and robust inventory, consistent with that of other cities, will help them to better understand their city’s emissions profile through benchmarking of comparable data. This in turn will allow cities to identify and prioritise areas for action, in sectors such as energy, transport and waste management, in order to contribute to closing the emissions gap in line with both city and national targets.

Making information on emissions accessible also helps cities in Africa to benchmark their progress against other reporting cities worldwide. To this end, workshop participants pledged to accelerate the exchange of experiences and best practices on GHG emissions measurement and reporting.

“Following the launch of the Compact of Mayors, cities in Africa need to focus on strengthening their emissions measurement, reporting and climate action planning capacity in terms of skills, finances and human resources,” said Hastings Chikoko, C40 Regional Director for Africa. “Institutional arrangements should also allow for effective engagement and coordination of all sectors responsible for managing GHG emissions.”

Representatives from several C40 cities across Africa gather in Johannesburg for the workshop on measurement & reporting