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From the UN, global guidelines to create policies toward net-zero emissions

A compass to set solid paths to net-zero emissions and avoid greenwashing

(sustainabilityenvironment.com) – What does net-zero emissions mean? A global definition of “net zero” and related concepts such as greenhouse gas removal, compensation or value chain. Accompanied by a list of general principles and above all by practical and concrete indications. It is the content of the guidelines for setting net zero emissions policies presented by the UN, the first attempt to provide a single compass, valid everywhere and for any sector, that helps build effective policies for the transition.

The instrument was presented yesterday at COP27 on climate by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the UN body that deals with creating global standards. The guidelines for net-zero emissions “face an important obstacle for a world where greenhouse gas emissions are reduced to a minimum and balanced by removals: the fragmented Net Zero governance landscape“, explains ISO. “Conflicting “Net Zero” approaches and concepts sow confusion. The Guidelines provide a common reference for collective efforts, offering a global basis for the harmonization, understanding and planning of Net Zero for actors at the state, regional, citizen and organizational levels“.

An initiative that comes just two days after the publication of an important report commissioned by the UN on the (poor) solidity of the objectives towards climate neutrality promised by companies, banks and global cities. “Too many promises of climate neutrality are little more than empty slogans and announcements,” explained former Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, who headed the UN expert group that prepared the report. That is the conclusions demanded, in fact, shared and global rules in the matter.

Prepared by more than 1200 organizations from over 100 countries, the ISO guidelines should make it possible to make long-term policies more robust and coherent by providing, among other things, recommendations on transparent communication, the credibility of claims and the consistency of reports.

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