Cities Join Volunteer Program to Report GHG Emissions

The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability are joining forces with some cities to help them voluntarily report their greenhouse gas emissions and other climate change-relevant data, according to an Aug. 10 press release.

Cities will be able to use the project to learn from peers on climate change management, and the project will shed light on the level of awareness and preparedness of the cities on this issue. It will also demonstrate to companies, investors, and the general public how individual cities are dealing with the risks and opportunities climate change presents.

Under the new program, at least 30 urban centers, including New York, Las Vegas, Denver, West Palm Beach, Fla.; St. Paul, Minn.; and New Orleans, La.; will use ICLEI's Local Government Operations Protocol and software tools to assess their greenhouse gas emissions profile and then will disclose this inventory data online.

Each city will assemble comparable carbon emission data within their jurisdiction's operations -- for instance, fire department, ambulance and police services, municipal buildings, waste transport, and other services or activities over which they exercise budgetary control. They will follow CDP systems to assess and disclose climate change-related risks and opportunities. Cities will use the Local Government Operations Protocol, which was co-authored by ICLEI and the California Climate Action Registry, with input from expert stakeholders across the United States. The protocol details the policy framework, calculation methodologies, and reporting guidance for quantifying GHG emissions from local government operations.

Paul Dickinson, chief executive officer of CDP commented: "Over 70 percent of total global emissions are generated from cities and if you don't measure these emissions, you cannot manage them. This is a vital step for city councils who wish to gain a better understanding of their own impact and by improving their understanding of risks and opportunities associated with climate change, best prepare their cities for a carbon constrained world."

"ICLEI's partnership with the Carbon Disclosure Project underscores how crucial standards, quantification methods, and voluntary reporting are to local climate action," said Michelle Wyman, executive director of ICLEI USA. "This project provides the opportunity for transparency and is essential in the emerging national and global policy dialogue as the priorities of local governments to achieve swift and deep reductions are identified and advanced by local government leaders."

Cities will submit their responses to CDP by Oct. 31. All responses will be announced and published in the CDP Cities Report and ICLEI Local Action Network Report in January 2009.

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