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Just released is the news that now all the cities of the world will have a common method for calculating the amount of greenhouse gases produced within their boundaries. This March, UNEP, UN-HABITAT and the World Bank jointly launched a Global Greenhouse Gas Standard for cities at the World Urban Forum in Rio de Janeiro. 

Obviously one of the critical requirements to support policy and access to finance surrounding global and local emissions and their impact on the world is the establishment of an open, global and harmonized protocol for quantifying the GHG emissions attributable to cities and local regions.

"The common standard is a critical first step for cities to better understand their greenhouse gas emissions, with this knowledge cities can better target policies and inform their citizens," said Zoubida Allaoua, World Bank Director.

Anna Tibaijuka, Undersecretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN-HABITAT said: "In reducing greenhouse gas emissions, cities are part of the solution: city officials are discovering new ways to get people out of cars and into rapid transit buses; to harness the methane released by landfills and turn it into energy; to support compact urban development and not urban sprawl".

The new method for calculating emissions, the Greenhouse Gas Standard, calculates emissions on a per capita basis, allowing cities to compare their performance and analyze the differences.

The Greenhouse Gas Standard including a common format for conducting a Greenhouse Gas inventory is available online at UNEP.