Why Science-Based Targets Are Necessary For Meeting Paris Climate Agreement Goals

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By Tobias Schultz

More than 190 countries have formally signed the Paris Climate Agreement since it was introduced in December 2015. Many have since unveiled plans regarding how they will reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

The problem? Collectively, the proposed GHG reductions won’t achieve the Paris agreement’s goal of holding global mean temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels. Instead, we are on track to see an increase of almost 4 degrees Celsius by 2100.

Beyond the obvious moral imperative to preserve our planet for present and future generations, your company’s suppliers and customers — not to mention your own operations — can and will be affected in many ways by a changing climate. Global warming means a world of ever-increasing uncertainty across supply chains, as rising sea levels, drought and other climate-related circumstances threaten to disrupt manufacturing and especially agriculture.

Consider the effect of current drought conditions in California, where farmers must either spend more for water or allow a portion of their acreage to go fallow. One choice pinches the farmers’ pocketbook; the other directly disrupts purchaser supply chains. Or, if you’re a manufacturer active in a country like China, expert predictions of increasing severe weather incidents ahead likewise will wreak havoc on your supply chains.

How can we craft mitigation policies to tackle problems of such enormity?

Fortunately, climate scientists provided a thorough, credible roadmap published in reports prepared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). Each lays out the level of emissions reductions necessary to stabilize the climate below the +2C target.

One group of businesses has already begun this process by introducing the Science Based Targets initiative (SBT). These companies publicly committed to reduction targets in line with the +2C pathway.

If you’re looking to set a science-based target for your own company, it must align with 50 percent reductions in both CO2 and methane emissions, plus an 80 percent decrease of black carbon, by 2035. Based on the nature of your business, you may want to take more aggressive steps toward sector-specific targets. For example, power generators including public utilities bear a greater burden for reducing CO2 emissions, while the agriculture industry must meet significantly higher methane reduction targets.

These efforts present challenges as well as opportunities. My next post with dive into the details of setting up SBTs for your company, with an overview of Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. My concluding post will explain why integrating emissions reduction targets for short-lived climate pollutants is essential to establishing the credibility of your corporate sustainability platform. Check back to TriplePundit next week for the second installment.

Image credit: Pexels

Tobias Schultz is Manager of Corporate Sustainability Services for SCS Global Services, where he designs and implements corporate sustainability programs for clients, including the development of quantitative life cycle assessments (LCAs) and the analysis of the environmental performance of global supply chains. SCS is a worldwide leader in independent, third-party environmental certification.

Schultz can be reached at tschultz@scsglobalservices.com

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2 responses

  1. I am all for setting targets for improving the climate, but……

    I am amazed that the best minds that we have are ignoring two issues that are singularly responsible for the planet heating up. Most of this intransigence to move off of the fossil fuel bandwagon (either for or against) is because of financial factors and corruption.

    The two factors that are responsible for heating up the planet are: (1) geoengineering and (2) the approach of Planet Nibiru and the Nemesis planetary system.

    Geoengineering is spraying chemicals into the atmosphere every day around the planet. They are putting 20 million tons of these chemicals into the atmosphere each year. These chemicals form clouds which hold he heat in. They also disrupt precipitation patterns and normal storm creation, etc. Needless to say, these chemicals are also responsible for killing insects, birds, fish and soon, humans.

    Planet Nibiru – if you are not aware of the approach of the Nemesis planetary system then please WAKE UP. The US government has known about it for 30+ years and has been secretly preparing for it by building underground facilities .

    The second sun and many of its planets are now visible in the southern hemisphere. You may see them on the Australian http://www.allskycam.com camera sites (as well as San Diego and Arizona locations). The planet Nibiru appears on these cameras during their daytime hours.

    The approach of these massive heavenly bodies has a direct impact on our Sun and Solar System by virtue of their gravitational pull.

    As they get closer to Earth, which is in the very near future, our Earth will heat up. The Sun also is impacted by the strong gravitational pull of these objects and this makes it burn hotter and brighter as the gases are pulled outward from the center of the sun.

    The sun’s increased burn rate is similar to running your car’s heater at medium speed versus at low speed. Soon, it will be like running it at high speed. The Sun’s hotter temperature is what has recently heated up the Earth at a rapid rate. Geoengineering has also played a major role in heating it up.

    So, you can set targets and deadlines and make commitments (which quite frankly, the Earth’s citizens are fed up with your lack of progress in doing so over the last 20 years), but it won’t make a difference. Such things are insignificant as compared to the two causes I cited above.

    We must STOP geoengineering which is a crazy idea and which is killing the planet.

    As for the arrival of Nibiru, you need to prepare now for it. Many of the Earth’s governments have been secretly preparing for it for many years. If you are unaware of that work, then you are not included in their underground disaster plan. You and I will have to tough it out on the surface.

    Good luck, we are all going to need it.

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