Research, reports & online training covering GHG emissions inventories

Below are a series of resources aimed to support you in developing a GHG emissions inventory. Gathered from multiple organizations, these selections provide you with a basic set of literature that covers emissions inventories.

Research & technical guidance

Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories

Developed by the World Resources Institute, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the GPC is a method for inventory-taking created to improve the quality of inventories and ensure that inventories are comparable.


2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories

The 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories build on the previous Revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines and contain the latest, scientifically robust and internationally accepted methods for estimating GHG inventories. The GPC recommends that cities consult the 2006 Guidelines for information on methods, and encourages reporting consistent with the 2006 Guideline approaches. The 2006 Guidelines cover additional sources and gases from the 1996 Guidelines, as well as updates to previously published methods where technical and scientific knowledge have improved. The guidance has been structured so that any country, regardless of experience or resources, should be able to produce reliable estimates of their emissions and removals of these gases.


Revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories

The revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines are still used by some countries at a national level and similar to provide guidance to assist countries in compiling complete, national inventories of greenhouse gases, covering energy, industrial processes, solvents and other product use, agriculture, land-use change and forestry, and waste sectors.


Good Practice Guidance and Uncertainty Management in National Greenhouse Gas Inventories

The GPG2000 support the 1996 IPCC guidelines and help in the development of GHG inventories by assisting in quantifying uncertainties, subject to quality control and quality assurance, and efficient in the use of resources.


Good Practice Guidance for Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry

Provides guidance to estimate and reporting carbon stock changes and GHG emissions from LULUCF activities under Article 3, paragraphs 3 and 4, and Articles 6 and 12 of the Kyoto Protocol.


EMEP/EEA Emissions Inventory Guidebook

The EMEP/EEA air pollutant emission inventory guidebook (formerly called the EMEP CORINAIR emission inventory guidebook) provides guidance on estimating emissions from both anthropogenic and natural emission sources. It is designed to facilitate reporting of emission inventories by countries to the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution and the EU National Emission Ceilings Directive.


WRI Policy and Action Standard

The GHG Protocol Policy and Action Standard provides a standardized approach for estimating and reporting the change in GHG emissions and removals resulting from policies and actions.


WRI Mitigation Goal Standard

The GHG Protocol Mitigation Goal Standard provides guidance for designing national and subnational mitigation goals and a standardized approach for assessing and reporting progress toward goal achievement.


WRI Corporate Standard

Provides guidance for companies and other organizations to estimate and report GHG emissions following international standards and best practices.


WRI Project Protocol

Developed by the WRI, the project protocol provides guidance for estimating and reporting GHG emission reductions based on a policy-neutral methodology.


WRI LULUCF Guidance for Project Accounting

Provides guidance to estimate and report GHG reductions from LULUCF project activities.


Brazilian GHG Protocol Programme

Adapted from the WRI Corporate Standard, Brazil provides guidelines to estimate corporate GHG emissions, a tool to estimate emissions using in some cases national emission factors, guidelines to verify GHG emission inventories and guidelines to estimate scope 3 emissions.


Emission factor databases & data sources

Below are a selection of databases and data sources for emission factors. Please note that these should not be applied ‘blindly’, and a subjective assessment of quality (and relevance/applicability to your city) should always be considered. Locally-specific emission factors are usually preferred and considered highest quality, but default factors available via these sources can be used to verify local factors as well as plug gaps. If in doubt, the IPCC 2006 Guidelines and the GPC should always be consulted for guidance on appropriate emission factors.

GHG protocol

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) is the most widely used international accounting tool for government and business leaders to understand, quantify, and manage greenhouse gas emissions. The GHG Protocol has a variety of sector-specific tools as well as a spreadsheet database of Emission Factors from all cross-sector tools, that support inventory compilation.



EFDB is meant to be a recognized library, where users can find emission factors and other parameters with background documentation or technical references that can be used for estimating greenhouse gas emissions and removals. EFDB at present contains only the IPCC default data IPCC Good Practice Guidance and Uncertainty Management in National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, IPCC Good Practice Guidance for Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry, and 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories), and data from peer-reviewed papers and other publications including National Inventory Reports (NIRs).


Defra Conversion Factors for Company Reporting

The UK government has produced a web based tool containing emission conversion factors for greenhouse gas reporting. These conversion factors help companies convert their activities, such as fuel consumption, car mileage or waste generated, into the equivalent GHG emissions. The conversion factors are updated annually at the end of May. These factors are UK-specific but can be used by other countries with appropriate assumptions. Overseas electricity factors are available.


Defra NAEI Factors Database

The UK government, through the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI), provides a database of emission factors used in the UK Emissions Inventory and emission factors designed for local inventories. Key sources come from the IPCC Guidelines, EMEP/EEA Air Pollutant Emission Inventory Guidebook, and the USEPA AP-42.

View taps into the most powerful environmental database in the world, powered by Ecometrica. It contains 26,000 Factors with 48,000 assumptions, covering 248 countries.


US EPA Clearinghouse for Inventories and Emissions Factors

Provides links to various emission factor resources available in the US.


The Climate Registry

The Climate Registry (TCR) is a non-profit organization governed by U.S. states and Canadian provinces and territories. TCR designs and operates voluntary and compliance GHG reporting programs globally, and assists organizations in measuring, reporting and verifying (MRV) the carbon in their operations in order to manage and reduce it. To achieve this mission and to promote transparency, TCR provides its reporting protocols and curated default emission factor database to the public free of charge.


Handbook Emission Factors for Road Transport

Developed on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agencies of Germany, Switzerland and Austria, provides emission factors for a variety of commonly used vehicle for a wide variety of traffic situations.



Statistics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Contains emissions datasets for Agriculture and Land Use sectors plus other socioeconomic datasets, at national, regional and international level.


UNFCCC Annex I Party National GHG Inventory Submissions

Annual inventory submissions consisting of the national inventory report (NIR) and common reporting format (CRF) of all Parties included in Annex I to the Convention. Useful for country-specific emission factors, national-level data, or proxy data from comparative countries.


Biennial Update Reports submitted to the UNFCCC by non-Annex I countries

BURs are reports to be submitted by non-Annex I Parties, containing updates of national Greenhouse Gas (GHG) inventories, including a national inventory report and information on mitigation actions, needs and support received. Such reports provide updates on actions undertaken by a Party to implement the Convention, including the status of its GHG emissions and removals by sinks, as well as on the actions to reduce emissions or enhance sinks. BURs should be submitted every 2 years. Useful for country-specific emission factors, national-level data, or proxy data from comparative countries.


GHG inventory software for non-Annex I parties

All non-Annex I Parties are required to submit a national inventory of anthropogenic emissions by sources, and removals by sinks, of all greenhouse gases (GHGs) as part of their national communications. The secretariat developed a web-based application for use by non-Annex I Parties in estimating and reporting their GHG emissions by sources and removals by sinks. Cities may find this a useful tool.


IPCC Waste model

Excel based model accompanying the IPCC 2006 Guidelines, for calculating solid waste emissions using the First Order Decay (FOD) method.


Guidebook & tools

Urban Greenhouse Gas Inventory Specialist Candidate Handbook

The Urban Greenhouse Gas Inventory Specialist Candidate Handbook covers current exam eligibility, renewal requirements and policies and procedures for the exam.


Urban Greenhouse Gas Inventory Specialist Candidate Handbook (Spanish)

A Spanish translation of the Urban Greenhouse Gas Inventory Specialist Candidate Handbook, which covers current exam eligibility, renewal requirements and policies and procedures for the exam.

Rio de Janeiro Low-Carbon City Development Program

The Rio Low Carbon City Development Program (LCCDP) is a systems-approach to low carbon development, including a framework and set of comprehensive requirements to help the city to plan, implement, monitor, and account for low carbon investments and climate change mitigation actions across all sectors in the city over time.


Low-Carbon City Development Program Guidebook

Developed by the World Bank and DNV KEMA Energy & Sustainability to provide guidance to cities and urban practitioners to designing and implementing an LCCDP that complies with the LCCDP Assessment Protocol. The main content of the Guidebook is presented in four sections that correspond to the stages of LCCDP development: Initiation, Planning, Execution, and Assessment/ Evaluation.


Guiding Principles for City Climate Action Planning

The Guiding Principles for City Climate Action Planning reviews typical steps in the city-level climate action planning process in light of a proposed set of globally applicable principles. They are intended to be applied flexibly, together with more detailed ‘how to’ manuals, to help cities more effectively play their role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and building climate resilience.


ICLEI - ClearPath

Developed by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, ClearPath™ is an online software platform for completing greenhouse gas inventories, forecasts, climate action plans, and monitoring at the community-wide or government operations scale.


Climate Action for Urban Sustainability

CURB (Climate Action for Urban Sustainability) is a scenario planning tool that aims to help cities prioritize different carbon abatement actions and investments based on cost, feasibility, and impact on energy use and GHG emissions. CURB Version 1.0 has been developed in coordination with AECOM and C40 and is currently being rolled out in more than a dozen cities around the world


WRI Greenhouse Gas Accounting Tool for Chinese Cities

Developed by the WRI together with the Institute of Urban and Environmental Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) provides a tool for Chinese cities to estimate and report city GHG emissions and is compatible with various reporting formats such as the GPC, the provincial inventory format, etc.


Brazil GHG Protocol Program

Provides Brazil-specific corporate calculation tools intended to assist managers in the GHG inventory preparation process, including transport, aviation and scope 3 emissions.



The Compact of Mayors Online Training

The Compact of Mayors Online Training Course is designed for mayors, city sustainability officers, environmental policy advisors and city climate planning professionals. This self-paced e-learning course provides an overview of the tools, resources and compliance requirements of the Compact of Mayors, a global coalition of mayors and city leaders committed to sustainable local climate action.

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Cities and Climate Change Leadership

The e-Learning course on Cities and Climate Change Leadership will serve as an introductory course providing an overview of basic concepts, policies, institutions and financial instruments for use by cities. Its overall objective is to encourage city leaders and decision makers to undertake climate actions suitable to local needs.

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Fundamentals of Climate Change

This course addresses the basics of Climate Change including: the greenhouse effect, and how it impacts the earth’s climate; current and projected impacts of client change on ecological, biological and socioeconomic systems; international negotiations and agreements addressing the climate change problem; international negotiations and agreements addressing the climate change problem; mitigation and adaptation approaches and financing climate change related development actions.

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Greenhouse Gas Inventory Training

This online training, available on Education @USGBC, is for professionals working on emissions inventory, and will help you address the data challenges you will face, from collecting and analyzing large amounts of data from different sources to performing complex calculations.

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