GHG Protocol for Project Accounting

The GHG Protocol Initiative has developed two separate protocols. The Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard covers accounting for corporate GHG emissions inventories. The GHG Protocol for Project Accounting is an offset accounting protocol. It is a tool for quantifying and reporting GHG emissions reductions from GHG mitigation projects. It does not focus on verification, enforcement or co-benefits. We discuss only the latter and refer to it as the GHG Protocol.

History of Standard
The GHG Project Protocol was jointly developed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the World Resources Institute (WRI) in
partnership with a coalition of businesses, NGOs, governmental and inter -governmental organizations. The initiative was launched in 1998 with the aim of
developing internationally accepted GHG accounting and reporting standards. The Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (revised edition) was published
in 2004. The GHG Protocol for Project Accounting was finalized and published in December 2005.

Administrative Bodies

The GHG Protocol is developed by the WRI and the WBCSD: The World Resources Institute (WRI) is an environmental think tank “that goes beyond research to create practical ways to protect the Earth and improve people’s lives. [WRI’s] mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth’s environment for current and
future generations. [WRI’s] programme meets global challenges by using knowledge to catalyze public and private action.” (GHG Protocol, p. 145) The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is a coalition of 175 international
companies “united by a shared commitment to sustainable development via the three pillars of economic growth, ecological balance and social progress. [WBCSD’s] members are drawn from more than 30 countries and 20 major industrial sectors.” (GHG Protocol, p. 145)

Financing of the S Standard Organisation
The development of the GHG Project Protocol for Project Accounting was supported by numerous companies, organisations, and governmental sponsors, including Energy Foundation, US AID, US EPA, BP, Chevron Corporation, Ford, International Paper, SCJohnson, Dow, and Environment Canada.

Recognition of Other Standards
The GHG Project Protocol is programme neutral and is often used in conjunction with other standards or programs.

Number of Projects

Comments on GHG Protocol
The GHG Project Protocol can be used as a building block for a full-fledged offset standard. As such, it is a useful tool and has been used by many regulatory and voluntary schemes. In this paper we evaluate the overall quality of offset standards rather than protocols. It would therefore go beyond the scope of this paper to comment on the specifics of the GHG Protocol.

Source: WWF Germany, March 2008, Making Sense of the Voluntary Carbon Market: A Comparison of Carbon Offset Standards, Anja Kollmuss (SEI-US), Helge Zink (Tricorona), Clifford Polycarp (SEI-US). Full report is available as a PDF here.