Main Issue

GEF Agencies are required to estimate greenhouse gas (GHG) impacts on the GEF-funded climate change mitigation projects, and to report on them. For this reason, since 2008, the GEF with support from the GEF Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel, UNEP, and UNDP, has developed greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting methodologies for GEF projects in energy efficiency, transport, renewable electricity, and sustainable land management. 

In November 2014, the GEF started a review process aimed at further refining its GHG accounting methodologies, and exploring opportunities to harmonize them with those developed by relevant partners. The Guidelines for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Accounting and Reporting for GEF Projects present the results of this exercise. The GEF-funded projects provide support to national policies, standards and codes, institutional development, capacity building, and other technical assistance. It is important to underscore that such GEF support requires GEF accounting methodologies to contain components for estimating consequential (or indirect) emission reductions that could be generated from implementation of policy-relevant and other technical assistance measures.  

What We Do

The GEF has been an active advocate for the greenhouse gas accounting and harmonization process, given that most of the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and International Financing Institutions (IFIs) are GEF’s implementing Agencies. The GEF and MDBs/IFIs have similar project types and clients in developing countries and countries with economy in transition. The GEF launched its own GHG accounting program in the early 2000s. Over the past 10 years, the GEF has developed GHG accounting methodologies for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and transport projects.


The GEF helped develop a framework that provides general principles to harmonize GHG emission reporting and accounting methodologies, with Multilateral Development Banks and International Financial Institutions. Titled “International Financial Institution Framework for a Harmonized Approach to Greenhouse Gas Accounting,” the framework represents an important first step towards standard methodologies for accounting and reporting GHG emission reduction benefits from climate investment projects and programs.

Looking Ahead

In addition to GHG reduction benefits, GEF projects generate other benefits that, in many cases, could be the primary justification for the host country to pursue the project. Such multiple benefits increase the engagement and investment of local stakeholders in project success and increase the replication potential of projects – both of which result in increased global environmental benefits. As they are an essential driver for GEF interventions, in GEF-7 the GEF will be working to better define, measure, and report multiple benefits within the context of GEF’s efforts to improve the overall monitoring and evaluation of GEF impact.