Greenhouse Gas Inventories for Urban Operations in Southeast Asia: Challenges and Opportunities

Publication | June 2015

This paper discusses the challenges, opportunities, and basic steps associated with estimating greenhouse gas emissions for projects in the urban sector, and documenting these as part of GHG inventories for cities.

Documenting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions allows ADB to monitor progress on environmental mitigation impacts of reducing carbon in and across its operations. This is particularly relevant in the urban sector, as cities are major contributors to GHG emissions and climate change. Key challenges include the unique and complex nature of the urban sector, the time and costs involved, and the expectation or perception that emission volumes from individual urban projects may be insignificant. In spite of these challenges, there is a strong case and a building global momentum for estimating GHG emissions for projects and developing GHG inventories for cities. 

Recent case studies provide evidence that GHG emission estimates establish valuable baselines, allowing for credible, analysis-based determinations of the magnitudes of carbon-related impacts of urban projects, and that GHG inventories enable cities to drive green investments, leverage and access climate financing (including from an evolving global carbon market), and raise public awareness. GHG inventories can serve as platforms for cross-sector planning and decision making, enabling cities to explore result-specific solutions with respect to environmental sustainability and climate change. The paper recommends estimating GHG emissions for projects with mitigation potential, and developing GHG inventories as part of urban development projects that aim for comprehensive citywide planning and investments. There is significant opportunity for scaling up and replicating these activities in ADB’s urban operations in Southeast Asia.


  • Figures and Boxes 
  • Acknowledgements
  • Abstract
  • Abbreviations
  • Introduction
  • Challenges
  • Opportunities
  • Methodology
  • Way Forward

Additional Details

  • Climate change
  • Sustainable transport and urban development
  • Urban development
  • WPS157443-2

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