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Towards global standards to assess companies’ Net-zero commitments

How to distinguish which net-zero commitments are truly credible?

(Sustainabilityenvironment.com) – A panel of 16 global experts will help grade companies’ paths to climate neutrality. Dividing credible promises from net-zero commitments that are too vague or not accompanied by concrete progress. This was announced yesterday by the UN when it presented the High-Level Expert Group on Net-Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-State Entities, led by former Canadian Minister for the Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna.

Despite growing promises of climate action, global emissions are at historic highs,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Governments have the greatest responsibility to achieve net-zero emissions by mid-century, he stressed. “Especially the G20,” given that the world’s 20 most advanced economies are responsible for 75 percent of global greenhouse gases. “But we also urgently need every company, investor, city, state and region to honor their net-zero emissions pledges.”

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Specifically, the tasks of the expert group will be divided into 4 main areas:

  • the most recognized current standards and basic definitions for setting net-zero commitments;
  • a list of procedures for monitoring the progress of the net-zero commitments and decarbonization plans;
  • a list of credibility criteria for assessing objectives, their measurement and business reporting;
  • a roadmap to transform all these standards and criteria into robust regulations with national and international validity

The outcome of the negotiations must arrive by the end of the year 2022.

In order to build the recommendations, the 16 members will start with an intensive phase of stakeholder consultation, which Guterres hopes will be broad and fully transparent.

To avoid a climate catastrophe, we need courageous commitments but accompanied by concrete and measurable actions,” concluded the UN Secretary-General. “Stricter standards towards net-zero and greater responsibility in the implementation of these commitments can lead to real and immediate cuts in emissions”.

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