Direct Green House Gas Emissions Accounting

I am trying to understand the state of green house gas accounting and understand what implementing the standards looks like. My first look was not promising. I’ll walk through some examples where it seems like the methodologies below don’t work.

I took a look at the SASB accounting standards for GHG and on first inspection they seem to be totally lacking in anything like a complete general ledger for carbon.  The document SASB references for how to do carbon accounting to standard is at the World Resource Institute’s Green House Gas Protcol which was co-developed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.  All the sustainability standards approach GHG as just a part of a disclosure/risk mitigation framework and are really financial reporting not, actual “direct” GHG accounting.

If these standards represent the state of the industry, they have very developed attribution / recognition protocols–perhaps too developed–but they haven’t figured out how to keep a general ledger.  I understand the difficulty, one side of the balance sheet is by a public commons, but I’m starting to ponder if there’s a way technology can help monitor that…
Maybe that’s my fundamental point here… carbon deserves its own “general ledger” and there are going to be problems–like the ones I’ve seen in agriculture–that won’t get solved until we have something like a general ledger and people know how to use it.

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