'Science-Based Targets' for Organisational Decarbonisation

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Following on from our earlier posts in this series here we look at how Science-Based Targets (SBT) can help your decarbonisation strategy.

According to the Science-Based Targets Initiative, “Targets adopted by companies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are considered ‘science-based’ if they are in line with what the latest climate science says is necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement – to limit global warming to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.”

By evaluating potential commitment scenarios within this context, organisations can decide on a strategy and goals that fit their capabilities, but remain ambitious enough to be classified as ‘Science Based.’

Therefore, Science-Based Targets provide a suitable framework within which to make credible commitments, setting emission reduction targets in line with climate science and international agreements.

SBT Tools

Though Science-Based Targets set global warming trajectories between 1.5°C and 2°C, a recently launched open-source tool makes it possible to translate any organisational objective into a “temperature score.” This makes it possible to validate targets in the context of SBT, or compare ambitions across organisations, even when Science-Based Targets haven’t been set.

Designed with financial institutions in mind, the SBTi Finance Tool allows for comparison of decarbonisation ambitions across a portfolio, generating “heat maps” for countries or sectors.

Based on this information, the tool can be useful in defining an engagement strategy—identifying where efforts to decarbonise are best focused, incorporating information like percent of ownership, and level of contribution to emissions.

Commitment to decarbonisation is difficult to compare across organisations and this technology translates diverse targets into one common and intuitive metric on temperature, helping place diverse commitments to environmental sustainability performance in the context of global emissions objectives.

Start developing your organisations decarbonisation strategy now

The UK Government has already set a target of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and recently the Government has committed to producing a decarbonisation plan for the UK ahead of the rescheduled COP26 climate conference in November 2021.

(For an update on the COP26, see The Climate Change Summit, from this weeked, 12th December 2020 - shown here.)

We know that the UK can’t achieve net zero without participation from everyone, but it remains to be seen how the Government will balance the carrot with the stick! – Either way, doing nothing is unlikely to be an option for most organisations.

Want to get started with your decarbonisation strategy?

If you'd like help finding the first steps with your decarbonisation strategy, and would like to speak to a consultant, please contact us.

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