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Global Net Zero

Science based targets essential for global net zero

global net zero

Emissions reductions and global net zero targets

The concept of net zero has recently moved from obscurity to centre stage in an attempt to halt severe climate change. Following Cop26 and the recent publications on the current condition of our planet, the pressure for companies to perform in line with net zero is higher than ever. In 2019, net-zero pledges covered 16% of the global economy. Now nearly 70 % of the global economy is committed to net-zero by 2050. However, the more that companies and states publish net zero targets and offset their carbon, the more need there is for more clarity from standardisation. The need for clarity over net zero standards and carbon offsetting was highlighted by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who noted that there is a “deficit of credibility and surplus of confusion” over emissions reductions and net zero targets.

Carbon offsetting

Carbon offsetting is a popular way for companies to declare that they are reducing their carbon footprint as it enables them to compensate for the emissions that they’ve already produced. It’s no surprise that many companies are now using this method to try and help meet net zero targets as more than 35% of global emissions come directly from companies and that’s just scope 1 and 2. If we include scope 3, companies are responsible for 80-85% of emissions. However, few climate solutions create as much controversy and confusion. It took six years for countries to agree on a set of rules for buying and selling carbon credits and even now, after COP26, much remains unresolved.

It’s clear that carbon offsetting is far from the best solution for net zero targets. Offsets shouldn’t be a substitute for cutting emissions and should be used only when necessary. The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTI), which aims to provide the first independent verification of individual corporate net-zero pledges, expects companies to work toward a long-term deep decarbonization goal of 90 to 95 percent across all scopes before 2050. Nobody’s getting a 90-plus on their decarbonization test by shoving all their emissions through offsets.

The complexity of climate sciences is one that only our top scientists can understand. Most businesses don’t understand and don’t have the time or resources needed to understand climate to that level and so should be listening and reacting to the information that climate scientists are providing. SBTI ensures that businesses are aligned to the standard needed to make the required change needed for our planet over the next 5 years.

Science Based Target Initiatives

Many companies engage with the topic of sustainability strategically but are lacking in the strong scientific backing that’s required in order to make a positive difference. Science Based Target Initiatives have the pure science backing that companies lack, particularly compared to other standards and are developing the first global science-based standard for companies to set net-zero targets. The road test involves setting near-term and long-term science-based targets, which focus on the rapid and deep value-chain cuts in emissions needed to limit warming to 1.5ºc and reach global net-zero.

As we await this standard, we urge all companies to become climate leaders and join the 300+ companies who have already made the commitment to reach science-based net-zero by 2050 through SBTI’s Business Ambition for 1.5ºc campaign.

At eco-shaper, we drive action on climate change and streamline carbon footprinting. For example, we can help calculate emissions across the entire ecosystem that companies work across and produce automated reporting based on outcomes. It’s like Xero, for sustainability. Contact us to be part of our research group on



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