Data & Tools

 AN INITIATIVE OF THE U.S. CLIMATE ALLIANCE

| Background

The U.S. Climate Alliance is committed to transparently reporting on our progress towards meeting our share of the U.S. Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Climate Agreement – which is to cut U.S. climate pollution by 26-28 percent from 2005 levels. The Data & Tools Working Group catalyzes state capacity to ensure that each U.S. Climate Alliance state can improve their emissions estimates, which is critical in assisting state policymakers to understand where to prioritize their state’s emission reduction efforts. The Data & Tools Working Group consists of two initiatives – the U.S. Climate Alliance Clearinghouse and the Emissions Inventory Initiative.

 

| The U.S. Climate Alliance Clearinghouse: Responding to climate change requires data-driven coordination. Although numerous climate mitigation and adaptation efforts are underway across different U.S. states, regions, and jurisdictions, there have been limited opportunities to coordinate and integrate these efforts. To address this need, the U.S. Climate Alliance will aim to build the U.S. Climate Alliance Clearinghouse — a website modeled after similarly successful platforms in New York and Massachusetts that aggregates climate tools, data, and information for use by policymakers and the public. By facilitating greater regional cooperation and making easily available the myriad of mitigation and adaptation tools, the U.S. Climate Alliance will enhance the capacity of our members to take measurable action independently and collectively to stop climate change. Furthermore, the U.S. Climate Alliance Clearinghouse is partnering with the Environmental Data Governance Initiative (EDGI) to integrate the lost and at-risk climate resources saved by EDGI and making them more accessible and easy to find.

 

| The Emissions Inventory Initiative aims to ensure that U.S. Climate Alliance members have the tools necessary to prepare and enhance their state-level GHG inventories, future GHG projections, and decarbonization pathways analyses – all of which are necessary for a state to make the best-informed climate mitigation policies. These tools are critical for a state to make the best-informed climate mitigation policy decision, by allowing a state to:

-          Identify their largest sources of GHG emissions;

-          Understand emission trends;

-          Provide a basis for setting goals and targets for future reductions; and

-          Track progress at reducing emissions in line with the Paris Agreement and the USCA mission.

 

This initiative also directs and verifies, through individual state consultations, the analytics behind the annual public U.S. Climate Alliance report.

 

| State Leadership To-Date

Because we can’t mitigate what we don’t measure, all Alliance states have conducted GHG inventories within the last five years. For two Alliance states, inventories completed in 2018 where also their first comprehensive GHG accounting exercise, representing an important step towards greater transparency and focused emission reduction efforts. At the same time, Alliance states with more GHG accounting experience continue to make methodological improvements and increase emission coverage. For example, several Alliance states plan to include the land-use, land-use change, and forestry sector in future inventories, either as part of reported totals or published separately. In addition, a number of states are evaluating alternative approaches and sources of state-level data to improve the accuracy of estimates, including for agriculture, oil and gas methane, and transportation.

 

| U.S. Climate Alliance Collaboration

Throughout 2018, the Alliance has worked together to improve methods used to estimate HFC emissions at the state level. Until now, state-level HFC emissions inventories could only be estimated by scaling national estimates by state population.  The California Air Resources Board, in consultation with the Alliance, developed a peer-reviewed HFC emissions methodology that uses population in conjunction with climatic and other factors that influence the use of HFCs by state, resulting in improved state-specific HFC emissions estimates.  Now all 50 states can quantify potential HFC emissions and reductions under different policy scenarios at a state-specific level.  Find more information on this through the Short-Lived Climate Pollutant’s webpage.