MODULE 1.4: GREENHOUSE GAS (GHG) INVENTORIES
EXPANDING ON THE RECOMMENDED STEPS, THIS SECTION WILL ADDRESS “People”, “Policy”, “Technology” and “Financing” IN MORE DETAIL. SOME TIPS FOR DECISION-MAKERS AND MUNICIPAL STAFF WILL ALSO BE MADE IN RELEVANT SECTIONS.
People: Involving the right people at the right time
Who needs information on this topic? Why? How?
- Local decision-makers need to understand what a GHG inventory is, its purpose and how it fits into the municipal strategy development, as a tool that can be regularly used for monitoring. As such it requires a report after the BEI has been conducted, to show the GHGs released in the whole community (inventory results), ideally together with a trends analysis that shows what GHGs would look like in a “Business-as-Usual” context versus different GHG reduction scenarios. This can help informed decision-making, with discussions to be planned during regular council sessions or in an extra-ordinary priority session to be called when results are available
- Municipal staff in general need to know such a process will start, and that their cooperation is expected.
- Technical staff need to understand what the task entails, which tools to select and use, how to collect data and assess results through the tool used. Further it is important to know how to report to the municipal council, in a way that can help it make informed decisions – as outlined above. The tool selected can ease the reporting process by generating informative graphs, etc
Who should be involved? Why? How? When is a good time to involve them?
- The municipal council: To be involved from the start of the process, as this is a strategic decision and they need to understand the timeline and costs involved, plus expected outcomes they can use to direct the municipal strategy.
- Municipal departments:
- A lead responsible team, ideally connected close to the Mayors Office or in a senior position in a relevant department – with cross-departmental engagement competences, should be created at the start of the process.
- All municipal departments should be informed of the new development and its importance.
- A number of key municipal departments / units / teams should be involved, notably dealing with financing, procurement and sectors (energy, buildings, urban planning, transport, waste, water) – from this a core group should emerge to be involved in the SECAP development process.
- Partnering with the private sector (business and industry): In many cases GHGs are released in the business and industry sectors, making this highly relevant – also from a rising energy cost perspective. There are many ways to engage with these sectors, ideally also early on in the process, as aggregated energy consumption data may be required if this is not available from other sources. Calculators for businesses are also available, and could be integrated into their sustainability development plans.
- Involving the community (citizens): The interest and engagement of this group should ideally be triggered early on in the process, with a continuous update on developments to tickle their interest, and offer involvement opportunities e.g. a carbon footprint calculator for households for example.
- Local-regional cooperation: To optimize GHG inventories as well as SECAP development, and to support data collection processes, the link between the municipality and its neighbors, and/or the next level of government can help to optimize approaches and cooperation. Data is most useful at a regional level, so there are real advantages from regional cooperation with all municipalities.
- More ideas and methodologies: Available in the online Toolbox
Policy: Shaping direction and implementing strategy
Linking to existing networks and processes?
To support the work your municipality is starting with, it is valuable to learn from others and to use existing methodologies. This is a policy decision, for example to join the Covenant of Mayors, ICLEI’s CCP Campaign, and any of the other existing options. It is worthwhile investigating what is offered where, if it costs anything and the support you could obtain.
Financing: Money, money …
How to get this funded?
As this is a municipal activity, ideally part of standard practice, the municipal budget needs to allocate funds for regular inventories, either internally or by external expert support. In some cases the national or sub-national government may make funds available for this – it is worthwhile checking!