SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Thirty U.S. cities agreed to measure and disclose their greenhouse gas emissions in a bid to better understand and manage climate-related risks and opportunities.

Cities including New York, Las Vegas and New Orleans will participate in the pilot program coordinated by Carbon Disclosure Project and the International Council on Local Environmental Initiative's (ICLEI) Local Governments for Sustainability. The cities' information will join what is called the world's largest corporate emissions database.

"The partnership is offering a reporting form that provides public disclosure in a transparent way that's voluntary," Michelle Wyman, ICLEI USA's executive director, told ClimateBiz.com.

Cities, in general, account for more than 70 percent of the world's total emissions. The U.S. cities participating in the CDP project will gather emissions data from operations including ambulance, police and waste services, fire departments, municipal buildings and other activities under budgetary control. The cities will assess emissions using software and CDP's questionnaire, in which ICLEI's reporting protocol is embedded.

Wyman said one objective of the project is to gather data that will be delivered to Congress to illustrate local government action as it explores future climate legislation. City responses are due Oct. 31, and will be published in January.

The United Kingdom-based CDP has targeted the business community since its inception in 2000. More than 3,000 companies have responded to the group's surveys.