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ICLEI Releases National Standard for Measuring a Community’s Emissions

The first-ever national standard for how to measure the greenhouse gas emissions of cities, counties and other municipalities, has been released by the ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA.

The US Community Protocol for Accounting and Reporting of Greenhouse Gas Emissions was designed to simplify and standardize the technical guidance necessary to complete a greenhouse gas inventory. The tool allows local government to more accurately determine which sources and activities within their communities—such as power generation, passenger vehicles, livestock and solid waste treatment—are producing the most emissions.

The ICLEI, an association of more than 1,200 cities and local governments committed to sustainable development, is hosting a free webinar November 7 to answer basic questions about the national standard. A more comprehensive instruction guide will be released early next year.

The community protocol was designed to be flexible, allowing local governments just beginning their climate action work to follow the basic methodology and minimum reporting requirements, while providing municipalities further along in the process with advanced reporting options.

Local governments that use the community protocol must first determine the use of electricity by the community; use of fuel in residential and commercial stationary combustion equipment; on-road passenger and freight motor vehicle travel; use of energy in potable water and wastewater treatment and distribution; and generation of solid waste by the community.

Once the data is gathered, local governments use the protocol accounting methods to calculate emissions for selected sources and activities. The third step is to develop a report that conveys information about GHG emissions associated with their community.

This summer, ICLEI opened up its Green Business Challenge App – a customizable web application that encourages businesses and commercial property owners to save energy, water and waste through a year-long competition – to all local governments, schools and corporations. The Green Business Challenge, developed by the ICLEI and the city of Chicago, can be customized to create competitions between schools within a district, businesses within a neighborhood or campuses in a large corporation.

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