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How to compile a GHG inventory - a toolbox for states and regions

This easy to use toolbox is designed for states and regions to provide their environmental or climate change teams with a variety of tools on how to compile an economy-wide GHG inventory for their jurisdiction.


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Developed through the Climate Footprint Project, this toolbox includes “how to” videos narrated by experts at Ricardo Energy & Environment and a set of templates to document greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory compilation processes. The project is funded by the German government, as part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI).

The resources provide valuable information on how to compile a GHG inventory for the first time and make improvements over time, but also generally support GHG inventory compilers in carrying out their work more efficiently.

In addition, for states and regions that already have a GHG inventory in place, further resources are available to allow you to start identifying and tracking climate mitigation actions.


To download any of the resources mentioned in this toolbox, please fill in the form at the bottom of the page.


An introduction to the toolbox

**You can turn on subtitles through ⛭ Configurations > Subtitles/CC at the bottom of the video.

The GHG Inventory Compilation Manual 

Compiling and improving a GHG inventory is best described as a cyclical process that follows six simple stages.

  1. Plan the GHG inventory compilation activities
  2. Collect the necessary data
  3. Estimate GHG emissions
  4. Write the GHG inventory report
  5. Finalise and submit the GHG inventory report
  6. Review improvement options, discuss lessons learned, and develop an improvement plan

These stages are visualised in the circular diagram below which is taken from the GHG Inventory Compilation Manual.

Greenhouse gas inventory timeline

What is included in the toolbox

The GHG Inventory Compilation Manual comprises of six core templates, each of which guide you in the process of compiling and improving a GHG inventory.

  • T0 Overview document – How to use the manual
  • T1 Compilation plan – From roles and responsibilities to quality control
  • T2 Methods and data documentation – How to document methods, data and sources
  • T3 QAQC template – Quality Assurance and Quality Control – How to ensure inventory quality
  • T4 Archiving template – How to store all materials in one common location
  • T5 Improvement plan template – How to identify and prioritise inventory improvements

This manual has been developed based on the US EPA's "Improving a National GHG Inventory System Workbook", adapted for the subnational level. 


An introduction on how to start compiling a GHG inventory and how to make the most of the GHG Inventory Compilation Manual is provided in the video below: 

For states and regions just starting to compile their first GHG inventory, the energy sector is a sensible starting point.

The energy sector – which includes transport – can be a major source of GHG emissions for state and regional governments, and the activity data and emissions factors for this sector can provide a good first step for learning how to compile an inventory.

An introduction on how to start estimating estimations from the energy sector is provided in the video below:

Identifying and tracking climate mitigation actions

The final resources in the toolbox are designed to provide states and regions with a starting point for identifying and tracking their climate mitigation actions. Many states and regions are planning and implementing a variety of policies and actions to reduce GHG emissions and the following two documents will help them with this process.

Additional documents:

  1. Indicators manual – How to identify and manage indicators to track the impacts of mitigation actions
  2. Mitigation actions table – How to record and document your mitigation actions

An introduction on how to start identifying and using indicators to start tracking mitigation actions is provided in the video below:

Additional resources

Mini-webinar: GHG inventory tiered methodologies

Mini-webinar: GHG inventory emission factors

Mini-webinar: Data collection in support of GHG inventories 


Download the toolbox

To receive the toolbox guides and templates, please fill out the form below. After submitting the form, you will be able to download a zip file of the toolbox. The full toolbox is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese, and you can select the language version of your choice.  

We ask that you do not share these files with others, and instead direct any interested colleagues to this webpage in order to download the toolbox themselves, so that we can track usage. 

If the form doesn’t appear to work for you – you cannot download the toolbox in the language of your choice after submitting – please send an email to Faryal Rohail, Project Manager - Climate Footprint Project, at [email protected].