Editorial. Towards standardization in GHG quantification and reporting

David Turner, Ian Williams, Simon Kemp, Laurence Wright, Jon Coello, Erin McMurtry

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The requirement to tackle anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has become increasingly urgent as understanding of the risks of climate change has advanced. The scientific community has been developing mechanisms to bring about a reduction in the quantities of anthropogenic GHG emissions in order that responsibility for anthropogenic climate forcing may be equitably assigned and specific, pragmatic emissions reduction targets can be set and progress measured. The ‘carbon footprint’ is increasingly being recognised as a valuable indicator in the field of GHG emissions management. For ease of application the definition the “carbon footprint” has been limited to the inclusion of emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) by Wright et al. (2011). However, in some cases a more complete measure is needed that includes the full array of Kyoto “basket” GHGs – CO2, CH4, nitrous oxide (N2O), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs). Outside of the academic literature the conventional approach is to term this metric a “GHG inventory” (UN, 1998; Ranganathan et al., 2004). However, in the academic literature the term “GHG inventory” has been used to account for various different collections of GHGs and other climate-influencing gases, leading to confusion over the definition of the “GHG inventory”. Consequently, an alternative term, the “climate footprint”, has been proposed (Wiedmann and Minx, 2008; Wright et al., 2011) which aims to eliminate this confusion. The question is: should we continue using the commonly-used term, “GHG inventory”, and endeavour to impose and promote a strict definition or should we introduce a new, rigorously defined term, the “climate footprint”
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)223-225
    JournalCarbon Management
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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