The United Nations (UN) and the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) have launched a set of guidelines and guiding principles to help organisations construct credible net zero emissions plans across the public and private sectors.
As regulators increasingly focus on battling weak corporate environmental claims, and investors call for unified global standards, the UN and ISO said its work would act as a core reference text on what to include in their net zero plans.
It follows a UN 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 confront 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 UN climate change high-level champion.
The ISO revealed that the resource took three months to create and takes in the recommendations of 1,200 experts across the world.
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 ISO is calling the guidelines a “single core reference text” for any organisation wishing to credibly use terminology relating to net zero emissions and create meaningful targets. They are available for free to anyone who first registers their email address.
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.
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