Powerful new weapon in the fight against climate change

Rising earth temperatures are causing chaos and we need to act now. A new International Standard helps governments and industry take action towards reducing the damage.

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Por Clare Naden
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Increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, largely as a result of burning fossil fuels, is heating up the planet and bringing with it catastrophic weather, disruptions to food production and other societal stresses. And it is mostly caused by us. According to the United Nations1), as the world’s population and standards of living grow, so too do the carbon and other emissions we release into the atmosphere.

A key goal2) of the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, then, states that taking action to combat this phenomenon is essential, and it must be taken now. The newly published ISO 14080, Greenhouse gas management and related activities – Framework and principles for methodologies on climate actions, directly supports the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to below 2 °C and the UN Sustainable Development Goals by helping governments and businesses around the world do just that.

The standard provides a common framework for local and national governments to take appropriate actions for the mitigation and adaptation to climate change and helps them develop consistent, compatible and comparable policies and measures. It is also useful in assessing the effectiveness of these actions. What’s more, it can be used by the private sector to identify potential and justifiable actions they can take, and by financial institutions to determine the impact of their investments.

Yustinus Kristianto Widiwardono, the Convenor of the working group that developed ISO 14080, said the standard will not only help organizations when it comes to measurement and reporting, it will also reduce risks and increase opportunities related to actions taken together with other organizations or governments due to its compatibility and transparency.

“ISO 14080 promotes setting ambitious long-term goals and targets for emissions reduction per industry sector,” he said.

“It also directly supports the Paris Agreement, in particular Article 63)  which states that the Parties should promote and facilitate the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.”

ISO 14080 was developed by working group WG 7 of ISO technical committee ISO/TC 207, Environmental management, subcommittee SC 7, Greenhouse gas management and related activities. Its secretariat is held jointly by SAC, ISO’s member for China, and SCC, ISO’s member for Canada. It is available from your national ISO member or through the ISO Store.

1) UN: Climate Change

2) UN: SDG 13

3) UNFCCC: Paris Agreement

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