Greenhouse Gas Protocol New Guidelines

Geneva – The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the World Resources Institute (WRI) announced new guidelines for calculating the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions benefits of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Stakeholders from around the world extensively reviewed the Guidelines for Quantifying GHG Reductions from Grid-Connected Electricity Projects. They are based on the GHG Protocol for Project Accounting previously developed by the two organizations.

Both renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies are essential for solving the problem of climate change. As concern about climate change has grown, however, one of the challenges facing project developers and policy-makers alike has been to accurately quantify their GHG emissions benefits. In theory, coming up with the right answer involves complicated modeling of power grids, which is prohibitively costly and impractical, or alternative methods that are overly simplistic and inaccurate.

The GHG Protocol Initiative addresses this challenge by providing simple methods for estimating GHG reductions that are also rigorous, credible and transparent. Developers of wind energy projects, for example, can use the guidelines to estimate emissions reductions using basic data on local power plants. The methods described in the guidelines can be used anywhere in the world where these data are available.

“Accounting for GHG reductions from grid electricity projects is complicated, but it’s a critically important sector for climate change. Our hope is that these guidelines can facilitate further development of effective projects and programs involving renewables, energy efficiency, and other technologies that reduce emissions from electricity generation,” said Derik Broekhoff, a senior associate at WRI and the lead author of the new guidelines. Broekhoff previously led the team that authored the GHG Protocol for Project Accounting .

The guidelines will also be useful to designers of “carbon offset” programs and other initiatives that give credit for GHG emission reductions from renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. The guidelines can be used, for example, to calculate standard grid “emission factors” indicating how much carbon dioxide is avoided by a megawatt-hour of renewable electricity.

“For project developers or offset program designers who do not have the resources to run detailed grid emissions models, this is the best tool available to calculate meaningful numbers,” Broekhoff added.

The WBCSD and WRI designed the guidelines to provide considerable flexibility in the choice of procedures and calculation methods, so they can be adapted to a variety of contexts. They are compatible, for example, with the GHG quantification methods for renewable energy under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism.

The Guidelines for Quantifying GHG Reductions from Grid-Connected Electricity Projects is the latest publication released by the GHG Protocol Initiative. The GHG Protocol Initiative is the most widely used international accounting tool for government and business leaders to understand, quantify and manage greenhouse gas emissions, and is working with partners and groups around the world to build a new generation of credible and effective programs for tackling climate change

The revised Guidelines are available Here.

The GHG Protocol for Project Accounting are available Here.

For More Information: World Business Council - WBCSD

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