The Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC)

The GPC enables a consistent, transparent and internationally recognized approach for cities to measure and report emissions, allowing for credible comparison and aggregation across timescales and geographies.

Measuring City-Wide Emissions

A city’s ability to take effective action on mitigating climate change, and monitor progress, depends on having access to good quality data on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Planning for climate action begins with measuring GHG emissions.

A city-wide GHG inventory enables cities to measure their overall emissions, as well as understand the contribution of different activities within the city. In 2014, C40, WRI and ICLEI launched the Global Protocol for Community-scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC) to support cities to develop robust, comprehensive and consistent inventories. It seeks to:

  • Help cities develop a comprehensive and robust GHG 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 GHG emissions between cities, following internationally recognized GHG 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.

Consistent with IPCC Guidelines

The GPC provides a clear framework for calculating and reporting city-wide GHG emissions, consistent with IPCC Guidelines. It requires cities to report GHG emissions by scope and sector, and total these using two distinct but complementary approaches. One captures emissions from both production and consumption activities taking place within the city boundary, including some emissions released outside the city boundary. The other categorizes all emissions into “scopes,” depending on where they physically occur. To assist cities with reporting, an Excel-based GPC reporting tool, known as CIRIS, has been developed.

The GPC the result of a collaboration between C40, the World Resources Institute and ICLEI to develop a single global standard, which started in 2011. 35 cites piloted earlier versions of the GPC, including 9 C40 cities. The GPC was officially launched in December 2014.

For more information, read the blog post detailing the GPC launch or visit the documents and resources in the righthand sidebar.

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