Production of grid delivered cooling would be reported under I.4.4, I think? - so the consumption of electricity here would be outside of scopes
If the emission factor for consumption of one unit of cooling included the electricity inputs then I think it would be ok, as that same electricity would not be reported anywhere else (except I.4.4) ??
Agree it's a bit confusing!
completely agree that this is a tricky area and I really like your sugegstion that an additional 'outside of scopes' row should be added in the waste sector, similar to 'I.4.4' for electricity supplied to the grid, that is reported outside of scopes.
Once waste enters a waste-to-energy plant, it is no longer 'waste' but becomes a fuel. So technically the 'correct' approach is to not record anything under the Waste sector, but report under Energy. If the quantity of waste is recorded under Waste as well as Energy, it is double counting the activity data. However, to note report anything can be confusing for someone like me who comes along to audit, and says 'hey city, where is all your waste?!' So an element of practicality is needed. It is also helpful for the city to track and record the quantities of waste sent to energy for transparency and policy purposes. So I generally recommend they add a line in incineration (either scope 1 or 3 depending on whether the waste is in/out of the city) and use a notation key with a thorough description, as follows:
NO - if waste is exported for energy outside the city and is therefore removed from the city energy/waste system
IE - if waste is combusted within the city for energy (and ensure it is then reported in Energy). HOWEVER, if it is combusted in a grid supplying plant then it isn't entirely right to use IE - this implies the emissions are included elsewhere within the city's total emissions, whereas reporting as grid-supplied electricity emissions would actually be removing it from the city's total...
I worked with one city where the waste was exported to another country. In that case I think we recommended using 'other scope 3' to record and track this.
Upshot - yes there needs to be some further agreement on this.
--> I think your suggestion is very worthy discussing. If I understand your question correctly, the answer of this question depends on whether the city has the waste treatment system inside the city boundary. As you may know already, the waste treatment system inside the city usually consists of heat(steam) supply and power generation(CHP). GPC considers it in stationary energy sector. IPCC also considers it as uncategorized stationary fuel combustion (1A5a). In this light, if the energy is generated from the incineration outside the city boundary, it could be categorized as other Scope 3, and account it as a stationary energy inside that scope.
Another point of clarification/tuning: Scope 2 electricity used to produce grid-delivered district cooling. Subsequent accounting of the consumption of that cooling under Scope 2 would lead to double counting within the Scopes framework.
--> If I may, I would need a little more clarification on this question. It is my understanding that the district cooling system usually supplies cold water to users. In this sense, could you explain more about the electricity used to grid-delivered district cooling? If it means the electricity required to supply cool water to the grid and to operate cooler to use the water, it could be categorized under Scope 2 (as it is indirect emissions). That is, the electricity will not have a significant impact on district cooling/heat as it usually works by delivering heat(cool/hot) to users.
please find a couple of suggestions to improve the GPC:
a) Further development of recommendations and methodology in the land use and land use change sector. Besides, whereas at the national level urban trees are negligible (urban trees = 0 t CO2e in IPCC´s Guidelines), they may important at the urban level, as well as a common concern for most municipalities.
b) Inclusion of protein related emissions in the wastewater sector, which at the moment are not considered in the GPC.
Hi Michael, I fully agree with your comments and Rose's response. In fact GPC has a number of areas that are not as clear cut as they could be. Another area of interest for me is the AFOLU category. GPC provides very little guidance for this sector, despite the global impact from agriculture and land use change. A more granual breakdown (i.e. animal husbandry, crop farming, forestry, land-use-change), would be useful, especially for cities with significant agricultural activities or forestry. This is certainly an issue here in New Zealand. For example, I am currently working with Dunedin City in Otago, New Zealand. The city boundary incorporates a very large rural area, that is predominantly in agricultural productivity or forests. The level of AFOLU emissions reporting under GPC is totally inadequate for the cities needs, as these emissions represent 50% of the community fooptrint. I imagine this may also be the case for many developing countries and more rural communities. (Afterall GPC is a community scale carbon footprint, not just a city level tool).
Hi all, great to be getting the conversation going here, and thanks to Rose and Byoungchull for the thoughtful responses. I thought I'd pick up on the AFOLU points here. I think GPC is to a certain extent light on methods, more focused on reporting structure by design (purely my own observation). GPC authors recognize that working with local conditions will mean slightly different calculation approaches to leverage the best information available. It references methods like IPCC, because they are lowest common denominator approaches and it would be nearly impossible to document all the possible methods.
One thing that has always given me reservations about AFOLU for community scale is the IPCC methods are extremely coarse, maybe fine for nations, but i don't think they scale down well and capture the variability in farming practices, soil conditions, and litany of other variables. In order to do things things well, community scale inventory methods in the sector would look a lot more like detailed offset project methods. Maybe we should be looking at how to apply those in this context.
GPC is open to finer scale methods as long as they are documented and I don't think we should look to it as the final word on how everything should be calculated. As practitioners, I think it will up to us to push the envelope on different approaches, try to make it fit within the GPC accounting and reporting structures, and share back the experience. There's certainly room for improvement in all the calculation methods and I don't think that the collective of orgs that developed GPC will be documenting anything like "the use of drone-based LiDAR to measure above ground biomass". I just made that up, but i bet someone is doing it. If not, the fact that GPC doesn't mention it shouldn't stop someone from trying it out.
Hopefully that's an empowering message for all the smart folks in this group!
Exactly! Thanks for the positive comment.
You are right that the GPC doesn't really aim to provide 'methods', and points to the IPCC as the standard approach. But at the end of the day, the IPCC Guidelines offer "tier 1" default methods and then recommendations for more detailed country-specific and bottom up approaches (tiers 2 and 3), which (if rigorous and justifiable) are preferred. So if a city has a better more locally-specific way of calculating emissions from an activity to that mentioned in the GPC that should definitely be encouraged.