Often referred to as ‘net-zero’ emissions and it is achieved when there is a balance between CO2 ‘sources’ and ‘sinks’.
A status that requires a company, sector, or country to remove more CO2 from the atmosphere than it emits. According to IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 ºC (2018), to meet ambitious international climate goals, it may require global CO2 emissions to fall below zero after 2050, achieving what is known as net negative emissions or becoming carbon negative (IEA).
Greenhouse Gas (GHG)
A GHG is a gas that emits and absorbs infrared radiation, causing the greenhouse effect. There are many different GHGs; all with different Global Warming Potentials and different atmospheric lifetimes. We follow the Kyoto Protocol (adopted in 1997 and entered into force in 2005), the first international treaty on climate change, and focus on the six greenhouse gases listed in Annex A of the Protocol: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change created by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) in 1988. Its objective is to provide governments at all levels with scientific information that they can use to develop climate policies.
Point when “anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere are balanced by anthropogenic removals over a specified period”, according to the IPCC. To stabilize global temperature at any level over many centuries, ‘net’ GHG emissions would need to be reduced to zero. The implication of net-zero emissions is that the concentration of GHG in the atmosphere would slowly decline over time until a new equilibrium is reached, as anthropogenic GHG emissions are redistributed and taken up by the oceans and land biosphere.
Legally binding international treaty on climate change. It was adopted by 196 Parties at the Conference of the Parties (COP) 21 in Paris, on 12 December 2015 and entered into force on 4 November 2016. Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, aiming at 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. To achieve this long-term temperature goal, countries aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible to achieve a climate-neutral world by mid-century.
Financial Stability Board (FSB) assigned the Task force for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), which published their first guidelines for improving and increasing reporting of climate-related financial information in 2017. It is the first international framework for translating non-financial information about climate change into financial metrics at the organizational level.
Science-Based Targets initiative
SBTi, backed by the CDP, the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), World Resources Institute (WRI), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), provides companies with a clearly defined pathway to reduce GHG emissions in line with the Paris Agreement goals, driving corporate ambitious climate action and helping to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. Targets are considered science-based if they are in line with what the latest climate science deems necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement – limiting global warming to a well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.
Scope 1 emissions
All direct emissions from the activities of an organization or under their control, including fuel combustion on-site such as gas boilers, fleet vehicles, and air-conditioning leaks.
Scope 2 emissions
Indirect emissions from electricity purchased and used by the organization. Emissions are created during the production of the energy and eventually used by the organization.
Scope 3 emissions
All other indirect emissions from activities of the organization, occurring from sources that they do not own or control. These are usually the greatest share of the carbon footprint, covering emissions associated with supply chain, business travel, procurement, waste, and water.