Designing a U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Registry

In late February, WRI is publishing a policy brief called “Designing a U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Registry.” Unlike previous publications such as Measuring to Manage: A Guide to Designing Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Reporting Programs, this policy brief focuses on the design of mandatory greenhouse gas registries for use in regulatory, rather than voluntary, contexts.

With the U.S. government now debating policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a national scale, this policy brief explains why policymakers should collect the necessary emissions data to ensure the success of U.S. climate change policies. The brief details the need for a mandatory facility-level greenhouse gas emissions registry and reporting program at the federal level and outlines some key design elements to include in such a registry.

This brief is especially timely. In December 2007, Congress passed and President Bush signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008. The law includes a provision directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to require mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from appropriate sources in all sectors of the U.S. economy. U.S. EPA plans to publish draft regulations for the reporting program in late 2008. However, President Bush’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2009 does not include funding for EPA to implement the registry. Our policy brief explains why implementing this GHG registry and reporting program is a critical step for ensuring the success of US climate change policies, such as a cap-and-trade program now being debated in Congress.

Click here to download the policy brief.

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