WASHINGTON, DC (November 18, 2014)
For the first time, governments now have consistent, reliable methods to account for greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions from their climate policies and goals.
Today, the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) launched two new standards to help governments design better policies and emissions reductions goals, and measure progress against them. Developed by World Resources Institute (WRI), the Mitigation Goal Standard and Policy and Action Standard will enable policymakers and analysts to set robust mitigation goals, improve policies, and track progress to meet climate goals.
“The new GHG Protocol Mitigation Goal Standard can bolster transparency in the international climate negotiations in Lima and all the way to Paris,” said Jennifer Morgan, Director, Climate and Energy Program, WRI. “For too many years we have been comparing apples to oranges without a consistent way of setting climate goals and measuring progress. This standard lifts the veil of uncertainty that has shrouded countries’ climate targets for too long.”
Currently under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) countries use different approaches with varying assumptions and methodologies, which makes it challenging to ascertain the effectiveness of efforts to curb emissions globally.
The Mitigation Goal Standard resolves this problem by offering a standardized methodology developed through an international stakeholder process and piloted in several jurisdictions. The Mitigation Goal Standard establishes robust and transparent emissions accounting and reporting practices for governments to track progress toward reaching their overarching reduction target, shape their post-2020 climate goals and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches.
“We greatly appreciate World Resources Institute’s leadership in developing these standards,” said Katia Simeonova, Manager of the Mitigation, Data and Analysis Programme at the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat. “They can help advance robust climate action by national and subnational governments and can play a helpful role in the UNFCCC process in the lead up to the 2015 Paris climate summit and beyond."
The Policy and Action Standard helps estimate the GHG impact of policies and actions in order to improve their effectiveness in reducing emissions. Analysts from national and local governments can evaluate the GHG impacts of specific policies, as well as some socio-economic and environmental effects, to inform where to shift resources to achieve the best results.
“With the costs of climate change mounting, it is more important than ever that policies achieve emission reductions as intended,” said Pankaj Bhatia, Director, GHG Protocol, WRI. “The Policy and Action Standard can now help governments at all levels determine if their actions are effective and respond accordingly.”
Over 270 participants—government leaders, NGOs representatives and academics – from 40 countries were involved in developing the two new standards. Both standards are applicable to national, city and other subnational governments. Already they have been used to assess a total of 32 policies or goals in 20 countries, including:
WRI is currently organizing a series of regional workshops around the world to educate policymakers on the standards and use them to shape national contributions ahead of the Paris climate negotiations in December 2015. The new standards are available at www.ghgprotocol.org/mitigation-goal-standard and www.ghgprotocol.org/policy-and-action-standard.