WRI Launches GHG Protocol Mitigation Accounting Initiative

Many countries are planning and implementing a variety of climate change policies and GHG reduction goals at the national and sub-national levels. As they do so, they are facing new pressures to account for GHG reductions achieved through individual mitigation actions and policies and to track progress toward GHG reduction goals. However, no international guidelines currently exist for these types of GHG accounting.

To help fill this gap, in June 2012 WRI launched the GHG Protocol Mitigation Accounting Initiative – a new global, multi-stakeholder process to develop GHG Protocol guidelines for:

  • Mitigation action/policy accounting: how to quantify and report GHG reductions from climate change mitigation actions (e.g., increased energy efficiency, increased renewable energy generation, reduced deforestation) and policies (e.g., performance standards, efficiency standards, emissions trading programs, carbon taxes, etc.)
  • Mitigation goals accounting: how to track and report progress toward national and sub-national GHG reduction goals (e.g., goals stated in terms of emissions intensity, deviations from business-as-usual, absolute reductions from a base year, carbon neutrality)

The new guidelines are expected to be voluntarily adopted by national and sub-national governments (as well as donor agencies and financial institutions, businesses, and NGOs/research organizations) to:

  • Inform mitigation strategies by understanding the expected effects of mitigation actions, policies, and goals on GHG emissions
  • Track performance of mitigation actions/policies and track progress toward GHG reduction goals
  • Report on the GHG effects of mitigation actions/policies and report progress toward GHG mitigation goals
  • Facilitate support for mitigation actions (e.g., NAMAs) based on quantification of GHG reductions

The project’s Advisory Committee held its first meeting on June 6-7 at WRI’s offices in Washington, DC to provide strategic advice on the project vision, objectives, and scope. Members of the Advisory Committee were enthusiastic about the project and viewed it as timely and poised to fill a critical gap in the way countries and sub-national governments account for GHG reductions.

We separately received inputs from several members who could not join the meeting in person, including government representatives from China, Colombia, Japan, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, as well as representatives from Maersk, Siemens, UNDP, and WBCSD. The full list of Advisory Committee members is available at: http://www.ghgprotocol.org/mitigation-accounting.

Following the Advisory Committee meeting, WRI convened the project’s Technical Working Groups, comprised of 120 members, who met for the first time by conference call on June 20-21. The Technical Working Groups will develop the first drafts of both guidelines over the next several months.

WRI will seek feedback on the first drafts in late 2012, followed by pilot testing of draft guidelines in several countries during 2013. The final publications are expected to be released in early 2014.

For more information or to receive updates on this project, please visit http://www.ghgprotocol.org/mitigation-accounting.