Long-awaited protocol standardizes guidance for how U.S. local governments can measure the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their communities; sets stage to accelerate climate progress of cities and counties
OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the first-ever national standard for how to measure the greenhouse gas emissions associated with communities was released by ICLEI–Local Governments for Sustainability USA (ICLEI USA). The U.S. Community Protocol for Accounting and Reporting of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Community Protocol) changes the game for U.S. cities and counties. It is a much-needed resource to help more local governments reduce their communities' carbon emissions.
The Community Protocol simplifies and standardizes the technical guidance necessary to complete a greenhouse gas inventory. This allows local governments to gain a clearer understanding of which sources and activities within their communities—from power generation and passenger vehicles to
livestock and solid waste treatment—are most responsible for the greenhouse gases driving climate change.
***How does the Protocol help cities and counties tell their "carbon stories"? Get the media kit at http://www.icleiusa.org/communityprotocol (bottom of page)
A Major Step Forward for Cities and Counties
"The Community Protocol fills a void for local governments and resolves longstanding confusion on GHG reporting," said Michael Schmitz, ICLEI USA Executive Director. "With a consistent standard in place, local governments can more clearly measure and report carbon emissions, evaluate climate progress, and compare results. Cities and counties are already the national leaders on climate action. This national standard will make it easier for even more local governments to get started on actions to lower their emissions."
"ICLEI is the recognized leader in local climate action, but we didn't develop the Community Protocol on our own: We did it in close collaboration with leading local governments," added Schmitz. "This approach proves the power of our network of more than 1,000 cities, towns, and counties worldwide, who are sharing solutions to accelerate sustainability success."
Telling the Story of a Community's Carbon Footprint
The Community Protocol incorporates a range of new innovations in GHG accounting. But its greatest appeal is its flexibility. Local governments just beginning their climate action work can follow its basic methodology and minimum reporting requirements, while more advanced ones can also choose to report a wider set of GHG activities or conduct a deeper analysis, following the lead of trailblazing local governments like Seattle and King County, WA.
"The Community Protocol recognizes that there is no one way to tell a community's carbon story," said Garrett Fitzgerald, the Community Protocol's Steering Committee Chair, and Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Oakland, CA. "For example, some local governments may want to focus on emissions they have the most influence over. Others may want to motivate their residents to take action on a broader set of carbon emissions. The Community Protocol will help local governments to frame their reporting based on their goals."
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SOURCE ICLEI USA