Will Cities Join the Climate Club?

Yesterday I attended a side event at COP20 called Taking climate cooperation to a new level: Incentives and alliances for transformative action. The premise of the panel discussion was to showcase opportunities to achieve transformative change in the climate sphere by identifying institutions and incentives that can catalyze action through low-carbon climate clubs.

I had not heard the term “climate club” before yesterday, and was interested to learn more from panel member, Mr. David Waskow, Director of the World Resources Institute Climate Initiative, who described developing support for a new kind of international cooperation among smaller groups of countries or subnational regional organizations that are willing to lead on the transformation to a low-carbon economy. These, he described as climate clubs.

Through this dGlobal protocolialogue, Mr. Waskow revealed the launch of a WRI and C40 carbon initiative of the First Global Standard to Measure Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Cities. Cities are a big deal. World-wide, cities account for more than 70 percent of global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, and may certainly represent a leading opportunity for tackling climate change. The first step for cities is to identify and measure where their emissions come from.

This new GHG Protocol is working to give cities a standardized set of criteria and tools to measure emissions, build reduction strategies, set measurable and more ambitious emission reduction goals, and to track their progress more accurately and comprehensively.

The full protocol can be found here.