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New Efforts to Develop International Documentary Standards for Greenhouse Gases
by Dr. Hratch Semerjian, Dr. James Whetstone


Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, resulting substantially from combustion of fossil fuels and other economic activities, are contributing to increases in global temperatures and changes in our climate, adversely impacting our lives. Globally about 70% of GHG emissions originate from cities, where a similar fraction of the world’s population lives. Therefore, any attempt to reverse climate trends must have a focus on cities and their GHG emissions. Efforts for Accelerating Climate Action in Cities will require public-private partnerships and investments by the private sector in addition to those by governments. There are several broad-based initiatives promoted by organizations such as The City-Business Climate Alliance , the C40 Cities organization, ; and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, aimed at accelerating climate actions through city-business collaborations. Contributions by the private sector to climate financing will require widely recognized methodologies to quantify GHG emissions and internationally recognized standards to assess the impact of such mitigation efforts. Many national, regional and local governments are also taking steps to reduce GHG emissions through climate policies that include the introduction of emissions trading programs, carbon and energy taxes, carbon credits, and regulations and standards on energy efficiency targets. Such efforts will again require internationally recognized standards for measurement of GHG emissions. Currently available ISO standards for GHG emissions management, such as ISO 14064, 14065 and 14066, do not include the technical framework for the measurement needed. NIST, and the standards development organization ASQ, has initiated an effort through ANSI and ISO TC 207/SC 7 to develop standards based upon the necessary methodologies to enable reliable, accurate and spatially and temporally resolved GHG emission measurements at accuracy levels supporting timely and effective mitigation actions. Recently published research best practices developed by the WMO’s Integrated Global Greenhouse Gas Information System (IG3IS) provide important input to this documentary standards development process aimed at instilling confidence in markets and promoting fairness in regulation. This effort is expected to include a series of standards: Part 1 is focused on GHG measurements in the atmosphere in urban environments; Part 2 would be focused on models to estimate anthropogenic GHG emissions; Part 3 on biogenic sources and sinks of GHGs; and Part 4 on atmospheric transport and data analysis methods for GHG flux measurements and source apportionment.

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Topic : Theme 2: State of play in integrated approaches for advanced GHG emission estimates and the way forward to operational services.
Reference : T2-B13

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