United Nations and ISO Launch Net Zero Guidelines
The United Nations and standard setter the International Organization for Standardization launched a set of guidelines on Friday to help organisations construct net-zero emissions plans.
As regulators increasingly focus on tackling weak corporate environmental claims, and investors call for harmonised global standards, the U.N. and ISO said its work would act as a core reference text on what to include in their net-zero plans.
It follows a U.N. report this week at COP27 climate talks in Egypt which said action was needed to tackle rampant “greenwashing” in company net-zero plans, as it proposed new standards to tackle the issue.
“These Net Zero Guidelines… can be used as a core reference text on net-zero to bring global actors into alignment, ratchet up ambition and address greenwashing,” said Nigel Topping, Britain’s U.N. climate change high level champion.
The ISO’s guidelines were developed by a group of 1,200 organisations and experts from over 100 countries.
While around 80% of global emissions are covered by net-zero pledges, many organisations lack a clear strategy, and the new ISO guidelines are intended to provide a practical guide.
The world must cut global CO2 emissions to net zero by 2050 to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement which commits countries to limit the global average temperature rise to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and to aim for 1.5°C.
They will also act as a reference point for other standard setters such as the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), which is looking to create a global baseline for corporate climate disclosures.
“The guidelines support clarity, we don’t replace the ISSB but help companies navigate these multiple initiatives,” said Emily Faint, net-zero policy manager at Our 2050 World, the group’s secretariat.