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CDP Cities 2011

“We collect statistical data from other organizations such as national ministries and utility companies. With this data, we estimate the amount of GHG emissions and release it on our website”


“Data for community transport is collected from the air quality monitoring stations; water data is collected from Joburg Water and electricity from Eskom and City Power.”


City-wide emissions

City governments often take responsibility for measuring GHG emissions produced and/or consumed within the entire city. This task is a difficult one. Each city faces unique challenges ranging from boundary definition to data collection. Yet few dispute that the task is important: a city government that measures its city- wide GHG inventory is better placed to manage reductions and implement specific reduction measures.

2 out of every 3 cities disclose community emissions An impressive 67 percent (28) of C40 cities report city-wide emissions data. This high number is an excellent start for the first year of public disclosure and bodes well for future efforts by C40 cities on carbon measurement and reporting. The total quantity of emissions is also significant: these 28 cities account for 609.5 million metric tons CO2

-e, roughly the emissions

produced by an entire nation such as Canada. There is no doubt that C40 cities are major players in the fight against climate change.

Measurement approaches vary among C40 cities The results from the CDP Cities program show some standardization in the methodology or approaches that C40 cities follow in measuring and calculating their emissions inventories. Just as for city government operations, the majority of responding cities combine standardized approaches (ICLEI’s IEAP, EU Covenant of

Mayors, World Bank, or an inter- national framework like IPCC) with proprietary approaches that fit local circumstances. The unbounded nature of cities, in terms of where they draw their resources from and the goods and services that flow in and out, presents great complexity in calculating emissions. Even cities that use similar approaches show variations in what data is collected and how.

The differences in methodology are reflected in a wide variety of GHG categorizations. Some C40 cities categorize their emissions by sector (residential, commercial, industrial). Some C40 cities use categorization by end user (transport, waste, water, etc). A third of responding cities provide emissions data using the “Scope 1, 2 and 3” categorization embraced by IPCC and World Resources Institute. Some use an entirely different categorization, while some cities categorize their emissions in multiple ways.

Variations in size, makeup and methodology combine to create massive differences in the amount of emissions reported by from each C40 city, with the spread between cities up to ten-fold. 4 cities report total community emissions of 5 million metric tons CO2

-e, whereas 2 other

cities show community emissions to be greater than 50 million metric tonnes CO2

-e. As methodologies improve and cities coalesce around common emissions accounting approaches, we can expect this variation to decrease substantially.

Fig. 19: Cities that disclose community emissions, by region 67% Total 28 out of 42

100% 5 out of 5

East Asia ....% as regional percentage 20 © 2011 Carbon Disclosure Project

80% 8 out of 10

North America 80%

Southeast Asia and Oceania

4 out of 5

63% 5 out of 8

Latin America

5 out of 9 Europe

1 out of 3 Africa



South and West Asia

0 out of 2

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