Much has been written in the media about the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, but most of it focuses on agreements agreeing to compensation, or more precisely for example, it focuses on providing future “loss and damage” funding. For vulnerable countries hit hard by climate disasters. But the biggest lesson for US businesses now and in the future is the announcement of standards for net-zero emissions commitments by non-state actors.
Globally, net-zero efforts by non-state actors, especially the private sector, are surging. With the increase in pledges comes a proliferation of criteria and benchmarks for setting net-zero commitments with varying levels of robustness.
In response to calls for clearer and stronger standards, COP27 produced a report by a hastily convened UN high-level group of experts, “Integrity Matters: Net-Zero Commitments by Businesses, Financial Institutions, Cities and Regions.” standards have been published. On net-zero emissions commitments of non-state agencies.
“There must be zero tolerance for net-zero greenwashing,” said the secretary-general group report from Sharm El Sheikh, 8 November 2022, calling the report a “how-to guide to ensuring a credible and accountable net-zero pledge.”
The report states that “limiting warming to 1.5°C would require global emissions to peak by 2025, cut in half by 2030, and reach net zero emissions by mid-century. It assumes an urgent warning that there is a need.
The expert group provided a roadmap to prevent net zero from being undermined by false claims, ambiguity and “greenwashing”. This report builds on existing science and the best voluntary efforts within the category to create a global definition of net zero, based on 5 principles and 10 criteria that will guide the future of net zero. It focuses on the overall actions companies should take today.
The 10 criteria detailed in the report explain what non-state actors need to consider throughout each stage of progress towards meeting the net zero goal and addressing the climate crisis.
1. Announcing a net-zero pledge 2. Setting a net-zero goal 3. Voluntary use of credits 4. Developing a transition plan 5. Phasing out fossil fuels and expanding renewable energy 6. Coordinating lobbying and advocacy 7. A Just People and Nature Transition 8. Improving Transparency and Accountability 9. Investing in a Just Transition 10. Accelerating the Road to Regulation.
Each of the 10 standards is explained in detail. Some of the most critical aspects of the standards may include obligations to:
- Non-state actors cannot buy cheap carbon credits, which are often inconsistent, in exchange for immediate reductions in their emissions across the value chain (although the United Nations does not support the rules governing carbon credits). could not reach an agreement and left Egypt).
- Non-state actors may focus on reducing emissions rather than absolute emissions or addressing only a portion of emissions rather than the entire value chain (scopes 1, 2 and 3) (Scope 3 emissions calculations are currently inaccurate, if not voodoo economics).
- Non-state actors cannot lobby to undermine ambitious government climate change policies either directly or through industry or other bodies (among 193 member states, true representative few countries).
These just-released international standards have announced or are considering issuing an announcement that they must be “net zero by 2030” or “net zero by 2040”.
Recognizing that business capabilities vary widely, non-state actors – from multinational corporations to local real estate developers – will first assess, then implement, and ultimately the resources needed to accelerate the pace. We are happy to provide resources at scale. Positive global changes happening to us in this time of permacrisis.
This voluntary United Nations initiative demonstrates that most business leaders understand the need to mitigate climate risks, and that many businesses already recognize the trillion-dollar economic opportunity that comes with this net-zero transition.
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