Variant 1: Region/city geographical inventories

Ian Cochran*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

Greenhouse gas inventories and related measurement tools for quantifying emissions at the scale of a given territory or territory or administrative area can play an important role in local-scale climate action. These tools can assist in a number of mandated and statutory strategic planning exercises, the development and provision of public services (transport, energy, waste) and provide a means for authorities to monitor changes in emission levels of all actors under their jurisdiction. As of August 2013, no obligatory territorial-scale monitoring, reporting and verification of greenhouse gas emissions has been implemented at a subnational level. A number of different reasons may explain why no formal MRV of subnational territorial GHG emissions has been implemented with local governments instead implementing proactive, voluntary measures. First, local governments are not able to directly control the majority of the emissions under their jurisdiction, thus within the political economy of GHG management, subnational governments are unlikely to fully accept formal (and potentially binding) responsibility for actions beyond their direct control. Second, GHG inventories are increasingly being used as planning and management tools. However, to date the quantification of territorial emissions and their management at the subnational level remains disconnected from formalized measuring and reporting systems such as binding subnational GHG mitigation objectives, national GHG inventories or the creation of monetized or fungible assets. As such, there is little incentive for actors to produce a full MRV given the limited added-value (access to finance, etc.) compared to potentially increased costs. Nevertheless, over the last 15 years a wide variety of voluntary tools have been developed and implemented across the globe. While formalized MRV systems have not been put into place, different measuring and reporting frameworks and protocols have been developed with a number of efforts to foster harmonization across nations and continents. The different frameworks often are directly linked to national (Bilan Carbone® Territorial and PCIT in France), regional (Covenant of Mayors – see below) or “niche” markets dominated by different city-based networks (ICLEI C-40).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAccounting for Carbon
Subtitle of host publicationMonitoring, Reporting and Verifying Emissions in the Climate Economy
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9781316162262
ISBN (Print)9781107098480
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


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