GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS INVENTORY
Yield Energy is a leader in developing Baseline Green House Gas Emission Inventories for Municipalities and the tools to track progress towards their emissions objectives. Because of the absence of a globally adopted strategy for GHG emission reductions, many municipalities have independently begun measuring their GHG emissions. This often includes a GHG inventory to identify emissions sources, a baseline estimation of emissions, and annual updating of the inventory.
FEATURES OF A GHG INVENTORY
A complete GHG inventory consists of protocols and reporting guidelines.
Protocols provide a methodology for estimating GHG emissions and a baseline reference case. The methodology will define all emissions sources, emissions factors and activity factors. The baseline is the historical start-up year or business-as-usual forecast against which annual emissions inventories can be compared.
Reporting guidelines define data requirements and controls, company or project boundaries (e.g. direct and indirect emissions), record retention and auditing policies, and change management (acquisitions/divestitures, consistency, transparency).
RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH EMISSIONS REDUCTION INITIATIVES
Without internationally accepted guidelines, municipalities implementing a GHG reduction program face policy and project-related risks. Policy risks stem from valuation and recognition of GHG emissions reductions that are subject to the uncertainties associated with national government regulations on GHGs. These risks include types of GHGs and sources included in national programs, time horizons (reference year for baseline and compliance periods), and geographic location (important for multi-national corporations with facilities in several countries with differing GHG policies). Project risks are also significant. Developing a baseline that is representative of corporate activity is critical. Should the company account for both direct and indirect emissions? Legal entitlement to claimed reductions needs to be clear. Project monitoring and verification procedures must be defined. Data management systems must be adequate for intended uses.
BENEFITS OF GHG EMISSIONS MANAGEMENT
An effective GHG emissions management strategy is one that evaluates environmental and economic benefits, enables a municipality to manage policy and project risks, and is integrated into all levels of a corporation’s operating and capital planning decisions. To facilitate these objectives, the GHG inventory data must be available at a level that is useful and actionable. In the absence of these features, a GHG inventory is simply a snapshot, rather than a motion picture with a story. The data must identify both the sources of emissions and the operational practices or technologies of each source. Constructed in this detail, the inventory allows evaluation of alternative cost effective emission reductions. Further, the data should enable annual comparisons with a set baseline to better account for real changes in emissions as opposed to changes in accounting methods.