City and Community GHG Accounting

Cities have become widely recognized as major contributors to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Fifty-one percent of the world’s population, approximately 3.5 billion people, reside in urban areas. The 2008 World Energy Outlook estimated that cities accounted for over 70% of global carbon dioxide emissions from energy consumptions. To address growing urban GHG emissions it is necessary to understand each city’s emission patterns and identify the major sources of emissions as well as reduction opportunities from both direct and indirect sources.

News and Announcements

Recent Blogs

Upcoming Events

Recent Events


Global Protocol for Community Scale Emissions (GPC)

WRI is developing a GHG inventory standard to guide city- and community-scale GHG accounting practices worldwide. As a first step, WRI partnered with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), the World Bank, UN-HABITAT, and United Nations Environment Program (UNEP to develop the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GPC). The GPC serves as the global framework for accounting and reporting city and community-scale GHG emissions that covers scope 1, scope 2, and some scope 3 emission sources. In May 2012, the partners released the GPC Pilot Version 1.0, which is currently being pilot tested in over 30 cities around the world. The release of final version is expected in 2014.

In 2014, we will expand the GPC to include a full value chain assessment of GHG emissions (release planned for 2015). It will provide detailed scope 3 guidance, which will help cities and communities measure their GHG emissions across a full range of direct and indirect emission sources. This comprehensive look at local-level emissions will help cities and communities ensure that all emissions are being accounted for between different government municipalities.

Pilot Cities

From May to December 2013, 35 cities from around the world are pilot testing the GPC Pilot Version 1.0. The terms of reference for the pilot project can be found here. Below are the past and upcoming stakeholder consultation events.

Pilot Cities Webinars

  • Kickoff webinar, May 28 & 29, 2013
  • Progress update, June 2013
  • Thematic discussion no.1 – Transport sector accounting, July 2013
  • Thematic discussion no.2 – Scope 2 accounting, August 2013
  • Thematic discussion no.3 – Waste sector accounting, September 2013
  • Wrap-up webinar, October 2013

Stakeholder Consultation Roundtables:

Advisory Committee

In June 2013, we established an advisory committee to provide high-level guidance, advice, and direction on the development and implementation of the GPC. The terms of reference can be found here. The first in-person advisory committee meeting was held on June 2, 2013 in Bonn, Germany.

Below is the list of advisory committee members:

Advisory Committee:

  1. Pankaj Bhatia (Advisory Committee Chair), WRI
  2. Yunus Arikan, ICLEI
  3. Seth Schultz, C40
  4. Stephen Hammer, World Bank
  5. Robert Kehew, UN-HABITAT
  6. Soraya Smaoun, UNEP
  7. Matthew Lynch, WBCSD
  8. Sergey Kononov, UNFCCC
  9. Kiyoto Tanabe, IPCC/IGES
  10. Junichi Fujino, IGES/NIES
  11. Kyra Appleby, CDP
  12. Jan Corfee-Morlot, OECD
  13. Maria Varbeva-Daley, BSI
  14. Michael Steinhoff, ICLEI US
  15. Alvin Meijia, Clean Air Asia
  16. Carina Borgström-Hansson, WWF

Special Invites

  1. Cities (TBD)
  2. National Governments (TBD)
  3. Foundations (TBD)


Core GPC Partners:

Supporting GPC Partners:

Documents for Download

Title Date
GPC Documents
GPC Pilot Version 1.0 May 2012
Press Release: International Partners Release Pilot Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions May 2012
GPC Advisory Committee
First Advisory Committee Meeting June 2013
Terms of Reference for Advisory Committee June 2013
GPC Pilot Project
First Pilot Cities Webinar May 2013
Terms of Reference for Pilot Projects February 2013
Application Form for Pilot Projects February 2013

Calculation Tools

In the standard development process, we are also developing calculation tools to apply the GPC.

Tools Developed by GHG Protocol

GHG Accounting Tool for Chinese Cities
This GHG accounting tool is developed specifically for Chinese cities based on the GPC framework. It provides local emission factors and the design of data input templates are suitable for Chinese statistical data. It is developed in partnership with the Institute for Urban and Environmental Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Science (CASS), WWF China and ISC.

Related Tools Developed by Our Partners

To Be Updated

Practical Application

In parallel with the development of the GPC and its associated calculation tools, we work with cities and sub-national regions to apply the standard and develop practical solutions toward low-carbon development. Some of our partner cities and regions include:

  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Bangalore, India
  • Guangdong, China

Contact Us

For further information about city and community GHG accounting works in WRI, please contact Wee Kean Fong.

Please register to participate in the GPC initiative

We strive to engage a broad group of stakeholders in the process of developing the GPC. We recognize that in addition to the 35 pilot cities and communities, there are a number of other cities, organizations, and programs that have also applied the GPC Pilot Version 1.0. If you have experience in applying the GPC and would like to contribute to its development, or if you are interested in learning more about the GPC, please register at the bottom of this page.