Published: 2 December 2014
New emissions standards help track policy progress towards mitigation goals
For the first time, governments worldwide now have consistent, reliable methods to account for greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions from their climate policies and goals.
Standardising global greenhouse gas emission accounting is now feasible through the development of new protocols.
Credit: Flicr/World Class Traffic Jam 2 CC BY-SA 2.0
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.
he Mitigation Goal Standard resolves this problem by offering a standardised 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 towards 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.
Over 270 participants – government leaders, NGOs representatives and academics – from 40 countries were involved in developing the two new standards. Both standards are applicable at national, provincial, state, city and other levels of government.
WRI is organising a series of regional workshops around the world to educate policy-makers on the standards and use them to shape national contributions ahead of the Paris climate negotiations in December 2015.