The Coalition on Materials Emissions Transparency (COMET)

To further and fully understand how to plan for the decarbonization of mining value chains, we need better data on carbon and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, neither consumers, corporates, or financial institutions know the embodied emissions in the products they produce or sell. While methods like life-cycle analysis and environmental product declarations exist, none use a verifiable, comparable, or widely adopted emissions reporting framework capable of sending supply chain signals.

To truly reform material supply chains, new solutions for markets, capital, and policy are required. COMET (the Coalition on Materials Emissions Transparency)—an alliance launched at Davos in January 2020 by CCSI, RockyMountain InstituteMIT’s Sustainable Supply Chains initiative, and the Colorado School of Mines—is creating a harmonized GHG calculation framework applicable to all mineral and industrial supply chains. To learn more about COMET, read:

  • Addressing the Need for Accurate and Comparable Greenhouse Gas Data: The COMET Framework. As a COMET member, CCSI made contributions to this overview of the greatest current shortcomings of GHG accounting. The lack of harmonized principles and reporting requirements between sectors and standards currently complicates the gathering of climate data and the formulation of strategies for emissions management. This study highlights the need for a framework such as COMET to translate between different accounting methodologies so that GHG reporting can provide transparent, comparable, and actionable data.
  • The three two-pagers on how COMET is working with financiersproducers, and buyers to create a harmonized GHG calculation framework.
  • The blog How Much CO2 is Embedded in a Product? Toward an Emissions Calculation Framework for the Minerals Industry.
  • The two-page policy brief The COMET Framework: Greenhouse Gas Data Transparency to Enable the Success of EU Climate Policy.
  • The report Comparison Between the IPCC Reporting Framework and Country Practice. This study examines national GHG inventories prepared by Australia, China, Germany, Japan, and the United States, and highlights how the inventories of different countries—though following the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories—reflect different choices of GHG accounting methodologies and approaches, emission factors, and categories and gases reported. These choices, allowed under the IPCC Guidelines, result in significant differences in reported GHG emissions, reinforcing the case for adopting a harmonized GHG accounting framework.
  • The report Carbon Accounting by Public and Private Financial Institutions: Can We Be Sure Climate Finance Is Leading to Emissions Reductions? As reporting GHG emissions becomes mandatory in the financial sector, the methods by which emissions are calculated will grow in importance for their impact on the resulting metric. Progress is underway in both the public and private financial sectors to embed emissions accounting standards, but there is still a long way to go to make them universal and harmonized. This report addresses key developments that both multilateral development banks (MDBs)—major actors in public climate finance—and private financial institutions have made toward adopting and harmonizing methodologies for calculating financed emissions.
  • Comments submitted by COMET to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on the desirability of mandatory climate disclosures.
  • Video recording of the COMET event hosted at COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland, at the UN Climate Change Global Innovation Hub Pavilion, on November 5, 2021, from 2 to 3 pm GMT.
  • The report Making Plastic Emissions Transparent. Plastics represent one of the biggest environmental challenges to society, and their ubiquity has led to an unprecedented pollution crisis. Nearly 80% of the 8,300 million tons of plastic made since 1950 remains intact in our landfills, rivers, and ocean. Derived largely from fossil fuels, plastic was responsible for emissions in the order of 1.7 gigatons (Gt) of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) in 2015, a number that is expected to grow to 3.5 Gt by 2050 if we continue producing plastic as we do today. The goals of this report are threefold: 1) to provide a pathway to companies to employ tailored information to gain more resolution on variations in the carbon impact of different plastic products, 2) to shed light on how companies can use these data in the procurement process, and 3) to propagate a new mechanism that can serve to grow the market for sustainably produced plastics. 
  • COMET’s response to the rules proposed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on mandatory climate-related disclosures. The response highlights the need to harmonize carbon accounting methods as the next step to ensure that disclosures achieve the SEC’s goal of generating “consistent, comparable, and decision useful” GHG data.
  • COMET's study of GHG accounting methods for crude steel production. Steel production is one of the largest industrial sources of GHG emissions. This report highlights differences in accounting boundaries, calculation methods, and credit allocation between GHG accounting methodologies applied in the steel industry. Identifying and resolving these differences is necessary to allow for transparent emissions reporting that contributes to the goal of decarbonizing the sector.
  • COMET's study of GHG accounting methods for primary aluminum production. Aluminum production is one of the largest industrial sources of GHG emissions, but aluminum producers still have excessive leeway to exercise user discretion when it comes to accounting for these emissions. GHG accounting in the aluminum industry has gradually consolidated around one industry framework, but aluminum producers are still using prior versions of this framework in addition to other competing frameworks, all of which apply different system boundaries and calculation methods. Important ambiguities also still remain around whether certain key steps in the aluminum production process should be integrated into primary aluminum emissions accounting methods.
  • CCSI's joint comments with the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law on funding allocated to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Inflation Reduction Act for standardizing corporate climate commitments. These comments highlight challenges with existing corporate pledges, problems with the accounting frameworks behind these pledges, and shortcomings in the data underlying emissions accounting.

In June 2021, the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN Climate Change) partnered with COMET to support the development of a harmonized GHG accounting framework.