A key outcome from the COP27 conference held this month was the International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO’s) introduction of the Net Zero Guidelines.
The Guidelines work as a tool for policy makers and all who work towards net zero greenhouse gas emissions for their business, group or country.
According to ISO, the Net Zero Guidelines tackle a major roadblock for a world where greenhouse gas emissions are reduced to the minimum and balanced by removal. The fragmented net zero governance landscape and the competing approaches and concepts surrounding this has caused much confusion. To directly address this, the Guidelines provide a common reference for collective efforts. They do this by offering a global basis for harmonizing, understanding, and planning for net zero for all key players involved in this issue at the state, regional, city and organizational level.
More than 1,200 experts from over 100 countries contributed to the development of the Net Zero Guidelines. This was facilitated by ISO’s International Workshop Agreement (IWA) process, which provided a strong platform to facilitate broad and direct participation.
A common understanding of “net zero”
ISO’s Net Zero Guidelines set a common path for:
- the definition of “net zero” and related terms (greenhouse gas removals, offsetting, value chain, etc), clarifying the differences in scope between direct emissions, indirect emissions from purchased energy, and other indirect emissions arising from an organization’s activities
- high-level principles for key layers who want to achieve climate neutrality
- actionable guidance on getting there as soon as possible, by 2050 at the very latest, and
- transparent communication, credible claims, and consistent reporting on emissions, reductions and removals.
The Guidelines also build on the momentum of existing voluntary initiatives and increase their impact. Moreover, standardized “net zero” claims are easier to compare, create an ambition loop, and can be scaled through better regulation.
Click here to access ISO’s Net Zero Guidelines
This article first appeared on the ISO website and is published here with permission.