Panel Discussion on Greenhouse Gas Accounting:

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol and ISO's Draft Standard for Greenhouse Gas Quantification, Reporting and Verification

Held at UNFCC COP9

Milan, Italy, December 10, 2003

Local, provincial, national and international bodies are initiating a host of activities designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. To implement and evaluate these initiatives, corporations, governments, public interest groups, and others need sound methods for quantifying, reporting and verifying greenhouse gas emissions, often called 'greenhouse gas accounting' methods. Moreover, the effectiveness of many initiatives - especially trading schemes - may be enhanced by standardizing these methods, so that a tonne of greenhouse gases emitted in one place is sure to be equivalent to a tonne emitted elsewhere.

On December 10, 2003, ECOLOGIA and the Natural Resources Defense Council convened a panel discussion to compare two evolving standards for greenhouse gas accounting: the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, and the International Organization for Standardization's upcoming standard, ISO 14064. Representatives of the two standards, together with discussants from the World Bank Carbon Finance Business Unit, the California Climate Action Registry, and an audience of UNFCCC COP9 attendees, discussed issues related both to the two initiatives specifically and to greenhouse gas accounting in general. Discussion covered: the scope and verifiability of the two standards, the processes by which they are being developed, likely evolution of greenhouse gas accounting going forward, sources of politicization in standards-making, and the relationship between greenhouse gas accounting standards and various schemes for climate change mitigation. Key points raised include the need for credible accounting standards that are useful for a wide range of applications in various policy contexts, and the question of whether the greenhouse gas accounting field is yet mature enough for standardization.

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Last modified by: H. McGray on 26-Jan-04
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