You are here: Home The Sustainable Cities & Counties Blog Topics GHG inventories
Personal tools

GHG inventories

California Governor's Office Recommends Using ICLEI's Community Protocol

by Don Knapp Feb 04, 2013

ICLEI is thrilled to announce that the State of California's Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) now officially recommends that California local governments follow the Community Protocol when undertaking their greenhouse gas emissions inventories. The U.S. Community Protocol for Accounting and Reporting of Greenhouse Gas Emissions is the first-ever national standard for how to measure and report the greenhouse gas emissions associated with communities.

ICLEI pioneered the development of this groundbreaking guidance, released in October 2012. The Community Protocol establishes requirements and recommended best practices for developing community GHG emissions inventories. A consistent national standard allows local governments to more easily develop high-quality GHG inventories and measure progress toward their emissions reduction goals and communicate results with their community members.

Read OPR's official announcement to local governments:

Read more »

ICLEI Releases First National Standard for Measuring a Community’s Carbon Footprint

by Don Knapp Oct 03, 2012

Today the first-ever U.S. national standard for how to measure and report the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with communities was released by ICLEI–Local Governments for Sustainability USA (ICLEI USA). The U.S. Community Protocol for Accounting and Reporting of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Community Protocol) changes the game for U.S. cities and counties. It is a much-needed resource to help more local governments reduce their communities’ carbon emissions.

Download the Protocol or Learn More

Read more »

Update on the GHG Community Protocol Development

by Don Knapp Jan 30, 2012

Bird's Eye View of Cityscape

ICLEI’s work on a national protocol for community greenhouse gas inventories is moving forward rapidly in 2012. When it is released in the third quarter of 2012, the Community-Scale GHG Emissions Accounting and Reporting Protocol will set the standard for how local governments across the country measure and report GHG emissions for their communities.

GHG accounting iconThe Community Protocol development is now being supported in part by Pacific Gas & Electric Company. ICLEI is grateful for the generosity of PG&E and other funders who recognize the importance of this groundbreaking project. ICLEI’s Richard Alden Feldon leads the development of the protocol, working with other ICLEI staff and the Community Protocol Steering Committee and the sector-specific Technical Advisory Committees.


Read more »

Local Climate Progress Worldwide Captured in New ICLEI Report

by Don Knapp Dec 04, 2011

New York skyline banner image

Right now, in the absence of any international climate agreement (or national, for that matter), local climate action is what the world can count on. That's the takeaway from a new report release over the weekend by ICLEI's World Secretariat.

cCCR report thumb 2011The carbonn Cities Climate Registry (cCCR) Annual Report was released at COP17 in Durban, South Africa on the world stage, to show the global community what goals local governments have set to mitigate climate change, what they've achieved so far, and what they can accomplish down the road, especially if their efforts are empowered by national and international agreements.

Blue yellow arrow icon small View the Report

This groundbreaking report, the first global snapshot of local climate action, quantified the performance of 51 cities in 19 countries, representing 83 million inhabitants and 447 million tons of C02e emissions per year.

The report underscores the importance of not only measuring GHG emissions to track performance, but to report those emissions to a platform like cCCR. ICLEI has long promoted the maxim, "you cannot manage what you cannot measure," and now we can to that, "we cannot count what we do not report."

What Have Cities Accomplished?

Here are the main takeaways from the report, pulled from the report summary, as well as recommendations for future action:

Read more »

Sign Up for ICLEI's New Greenhouse Gas Inventory Trainings

by Don Knapp Sep 14, 2011

Rulers on Green


ICLEI USA has announced a new series of skills trainings. Three upcoming trainings will help local government staff and sustainability professionals learn how to conduct a GHG emissions inventory using ICLEI's industry-standard software, CACP 2009

, and our new cutting-edge tools like the Master Data Workbook. With help from ICLEI, you'll build capacity to complete your inventory, saving time and money.


Note: These trainings have been postponed. Stay tuned for new dates.


Blue yellow arrow icon small Greenhouse Gas Inventory Data Gathering - REGISTER NOW
Date: Sept. 27, 3 - 4:30 p.m. Eastern
Cost: $50 for ICLEI members, $100 for non-members

Blue yellow arrow icon small Getting Started with CACP 2009 - REGISTER NOW
Date: Oct. 11, 3 - 4:30 p.m. Eastern
Cost: $50 for ICLEI members, $100 for non-members

Blue yellow arrow icon small Greenhouse Gas Inventory Data Entry Using CACP 2009 - REGISTER NOW
Date: Oct. 25, 3 - 4:30 p.m. Eastern
Cost: $50 for ICLEI members, $100 for non-members

Read more »

ICLEI and C40 Partner to Set Global Standard on Measuring GHGs

by Don Knapp Jun 06, 2011

bloomberg cadman iclei c40 announcement

ICLEI Global President David Cadman and C40 Chair and New York City Mayor
Michael Bloomberg announce a new partnership to benefit local governments.

By late fall 2011, ICLEI and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group aim to release a single international standard for how to measure greenhouse gas emissions at the community level. Last week the two organizations announced their landmark partnership at the C40 Cities Mayors Summit in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and it should be welcome news for ICLEI’s U.S. local government members that have worked with us to help pioneer greenhouse gas protocols.

A uniform measuring stick will only strengthen the work of local governments worldwide to mitigate climate change. It will allow all local governments to more accurately and consistently monitor their emissions reduction progress, and will provide standard guidance as local governments pursue environmental review, inventory verification, and other relevant policy making processes in their day-to-day operations. Right now local governments in different parts of the world are using inconsistent, competing methodologies to calculate their emissions from various sources (power generation, transportation, etc.), which makes it difficult for local governments to benchmark their progress.

“Establishing a single global standard for reporting greenhouse gas emissions will empower local governments to accelerate their actions and access funding for mitigation and adaptation projects,” said C40 Chair, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “This will enable new efficiencies and create a level playing field for comparing emissions across cities around the world.”


U.S. Local Governments Pave the Way

What will the new international protocol mean for U.S. local governments? It shouldn’t affect ICLEI USA’s Local Government Operations Protocol, but will bring modest changes to ICLEI’s International Emissions Analysis Protocol (IEAP), the umbrella protocol for the forthcoming U.S. Community-Scale GHG Emissions Accounting and Reporting Protocol. The Community Protocol will become the U.S. supplement to the new international standard, and will contain more specific detail than its parent protocol on things like calculation methodologies, data sources, and emissions factors.

Read more »

Watch ICLEI’s Top 10 Sustainability Webinars

by Don Knapp May 09, 2011

green electrical outlet banner

Have you been tracking ICLEI USA’s webinars for local governments? Over the past year, we’ve featured dozens of sustainability innovators who have shared their experience and expertise so that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Below, we’ve compiled our top 10 of the past 12 months. Click to watch them on demand, or download the presentation slides.

To keep up with our latest sustainability webinars, trainings, resources, news, and tips for local governments, subscribe to our free, bi-weekly ICLEI Connection e-newsletter.

Our Top 10, On Demand

Note: some webinars are for members only and require a website login.

Arrow icon1. Sustainability in the Master Plan and Zoning Code (Nov. 2010)
ICLEI’s most popular webinar of 2010. Midwest local government staff share perspectives on the role of the master plan and zoning code in creating sustainable communities.

Arrow icon2. Clean Energy and Sustainability as a Local Economic Development Strategy
Part 1: Saving Money, Expanding Markets, and Building a Talented Workforce
Part II: Leveraging Public Resources and Federal Funding
(Nov. 2010)
Connect the dots between sustainability and prosperity. Learn from the leading experts ICLEI brought together for this popular two-part series.

Read more »

California Cities and Counties Get No-Cost Tool to Measure GHG Emissions

by Michael Schmitz, ICLEI California Director Apr 18, 2011

SEEC Community Inventory Tool screengrab

California’s path to a more sustainable future just got smoother today. ICLEI released a powerful, no-cost web-based tool that will allow hundreds of California cities and counties to measure their community’s greenhouse gas emissions. Conducting a GHG emissions inventory is an essential first step to addressing climate change, cutting energy costs and becoming more energy self-reliant, but tough economic times and budget cuts have made it very difficult for many local governments to take the next step forward in climate action planning—until now.

With this new no-cost tool and complementary guidance in hand, local communities across California will be able to accurately measure their community’s carbon footprint, set reduction targets and make real progress in their climate action goals and energy-saving strategies.

small green arrow icon Learn More

Targeting Local Government Needs Through SEEC

ICLEI released the SEEC Community Inventory Tool as a proud partner in the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative (SEEC), a new alliance to help California cities and counties reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save energy. SEEC is a collaboration between three statewide nonprofit organizations and California’s four investor-owned utilities (read more about SEEC below, or visit

Read more »

20 Local Governments Honored for Climate Progress

by Don Knapp Sep 27, 2010

LAS milestone award winners 2

Recipients of an ICLEI Milestone Award on stage at the Local Action Summit.

At last week's Local Action Summit, ICLEI honored honored 20 cities and counties that have achieved significant milestones in reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Each city or county has completed one or more of ICLEI's Five Milestones for Climate Mitigation, a proven process by which hundreds of local governments across the country measure their GHG emissions, set realistic emissions reduction goals, develop hands-on climate action plans, and implement those plans in a measurable way that will yield results.

“The Milestone Awards recognize the great work of our cities, towns, and counties that are actively engaged in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and want a better quality of life for their residents,” said Mayor Patrick Hays, City of North Little Rock, AR, and President of the Board of Directors, ICLEI USA. “Each step of our Five Milestone process is critically important to ensuring local success and achieving measurable reductions.”

The following ICLEI USA local government members were recognized with a Milestone Award:

Read more »

Emerging Best Practices in Energy and Greenhouse Gas Management

by Don Knapp Jul 21, 2010

Rulers on Green

The business of tracking energy use and greenhouse gas emissions is moving to a whole new level for local governments -- and the benefits are astonishing. That much is clear after yesterday's webinar, "Emerging Best Practices in Energy and Greenhouse Gas Management," hosted by ICLEI USA and software leader Hara.

The highlight of the presentation was an overview from Karl Van Orsdol, City of Palo Alto, CA's energy risk manager. Van Orsdol described how the City has overcome key challenges and inconsistencies with more sophisticated and pinpoint tracking of energy, emissions, water, and waste. The City not only has a clearer view of its progress on long-term goals, but it can make more targeted decisions on its energy initiatives and more effectively involve City staff in its efforts. The bottom line: In 2009, the City saved $550,000 using Hara's Environmental and Energy Management (EEM) solution.

Municipal and county staff: View the free recorded webinar to learn these latest trends and understand the money- and energy-saving opportunities you might be missing.

small green arrow icon View the Recorded Webinar

small green arrow icon View the Presentation Slides (pdf)

Palo Alto's approach is truly innovative, supported by the national standards and best practices developed by ICLEI and Hara. Get the details in the recordings. In particular, check out page 27 of the slides, where Van Orsdol sums up his City's implementation challenges and lessons learned for other local governments.

Read more »