MODULE 1.1: GREENHOUSE GAS INVENTORIES
Assess status and explore use of tools and methodologies
Has the approached used to date been effective?
- It is essential to understand where emissions come from in both the local government operations as well as the whole community, in order to effectively tackle the reduction of GHGs. You already have an Action Plan, and want to revisit it. Now you need to review what you have done, what emissions you have tracked and where, identify what you missed (e.g. due to limited data availability, or low quality data).
- By conducting a SWOT analysis on the current status one can see what opportunities, weaknesses, opportunities and threats exist when dealing with GHGs. What works well? What does not and can be improved or strengthened?
- In the SWOT analysis you need to explore the elements below considering both internal and external relevant issues:
- S – Strengths (internal e.g. knowledgeable staff, supportive leadership / external e.g. good cooperation with data providers in building sector)
- W – Weaknesses (internal e.g. GHG inventory tool used to date is too limited to address other GHGs / external e.g. poor cooperation with data providers in transport sector)
- O – Opportunities (internal e.g. training of municipal staff to support improved data collection / external e.g. chance to involve local industry in data reporting process)
- T – Threats (internal e.g. impact of economic crisis on available financing to conduct a comprehensive GHG inventory / external e.g. large industries do not support local government aims for community to become carbon neutral)
- Take a look at the video-clip “How to perform a SWOT for your organization”
Improve data availability and data quality
- Access to all relevant and required data
- Data availability – is this optimised? What is missing? Who owns the data and can give you access to it? Is it in the correct format for your use? To be able to monitor GHG developments (ideally reductions, but potentially also increase where actions are not effective), you need to have a system in place to collect and store the data needed – and retrieve it when doing an inventory.
- Economic / environmental / sustainability monitoring and reporting – look at other existing reporting systems. How do these function? Can you use data collected there or copy an idea relevant to a GHG emissions inventory? Ideally, can you connect these systems?
- Access to quality data
- Add data that was missing in the 1st GHG inventory
- Try to segregate data further for more targeted monitoring
- Set an operational working group with data owners (energy companies, real estate owners, transport, street lighting etc)
- Obtain an agreement with data owners on data sharing (envision a shared goal for the community)
Investigate available tools and methodologies that can raise the levels of ambition
- Which additional GHGs can be included in the inventory (in addition to carbon dioxide)? Monitoring methane (e.g. from old landfill) is useful, as are pollutants relevant to air quality. With lowered emissions from a wide range of GHGs, there are multiple benefits for the local community – including health (improved air quality), this it makes sense to have a wider, encompassing approach.
- Explore the inclusion of Scope 3 emissions and life cycle analysis (consumption-based GHGs).
- Identify available standards, methodologies and GHG inventory tools addressing more elaborate approaches to GHGs.