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ICLEI’s Five Milestones for Climate Mitigation

The Five Milestones provide a simple, standardized means of calculating greenhouse gas emissions, of establishing targets to lower emissions, of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and of monitoring, measuring and reporting performance.

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The methodology underlying the Five Milestones provides a simple, standardized means of calculating greenhouse gas emissions, of establishing targets to lower emissions, of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and of monitoring, measuring and reporting performance. ICLEI has developed a software tool, Clean Air Climate Protection (CACP), that helps cities comply with the methodology.

ICLEI’s Five Milestone Methodology for setting and meeting your climate mitigation goals:

  1. Conduct a baseline emissions inventory and forecast
    The city first calculates greenhouse gas emissions for a base year (e.g., 2000) and for a forecast year (e.g., 2015). The calculations capture emissions levels from all municipal operations (e.g., city owned and/or operated buildings, streetlights, transit systems, wastewater treatment facilities) and from all community-related activities (e.g., residential and commercial buildings, motor vehicles, waste streams, industry). This inventory and forecast provide a benchmark for planning and monitoring progress.
  2. Adopt an emissions reduction target for the forecast year
    The city passes a resolution establishing an emission reduction target for the city. The target is essential. It both fosters political will and creates a framework that guides the planning and implementation of measures.
  3. Develop a Local Climate Action Plan
    The local government then develops a Local Climate Action Plan, ideally with robust public input from all stakeholders. The plan details the policies and measures that the local government will take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve its emissions reduction target. Most plans include a timeline, a description of financing mechanisms, and an assignment of responsibility to departments and staff. In addition to direct greenhouse gas reduction measures, most plans also incorporate public awareness and education efforts.
  4. Implement policies and measures
    The city implements the policies and measures contained in their Local Climate Action Plan. Typical policies and measures include energy efficiency improvements to municipal buildings and water treatment facilities, streetlight retrofits, public transit improvements, installation of renewable power applications, and methane recovery from waste management.
  5. Monitor and verify results
    Monitoring and verifying progress on the implementation of measures to reduce or avoid greenhouse gas emissions is an ongoing process. Monitoring begins once measures are implemented and continues for the life of the measures, providing important feedback that can be use to improve the measures over time. ICLEI's software provides a uniform methodology for cities to report on measures.
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