The measurement of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and removals is essential to effective action on climate change. Assessments of GHG are now carried out at a number of different levels, including both the national and corporate level. Greater public participation may also help to reach climate change mitigation targets and one way to support this is to develop emissions accounts for local areas that are identifiable to those who live there. A new standard, the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GPC) was issued in 2012 and provides rules to facilitate an account for a whole community. This standard has been trialled through an application of the proposed accounting rules to an area of the West Highlands of Scotland. The accounting rules were clear to follow and the main practical difficulties were not with the standard itself but with the availability of sufficiently disaggregated data. The main weakness identified with the GPC is that it is predominantly focussed on providing a production-based inventory, whereas we suggest that community level inventories will be most relevant to community level action if the scope of the inventory focusses on the emission sources that can be influenced by the community.
- Carbon accounting
- Greenhouse gas inventory