The ongoing climate crisis is directly linked to world food security, as global temperatures have risen and desertification affects over 500 million people worldwide. In an effort to stem the tide, various sustainable climate frameworks have been put in place to improve the situation in a number of ways. Organizations and businesses are often at the forefront of the movement, as they have an opportunity to make real change and the financial backing to do so.
From greenhouse gases to building a more sustainable economy, here’s what you need to know about climate frameworks, including some of the most relevant in modern society.
Defining Climate Frameworks
A climate framework helps organizations become more sustainable from an environmental perspective through, for example, green alternatives and lowered emissions. Most climate frameworks are sustainable by design as they are directly tied to a sustainable present, where we won’t need to take resources away from future generations to meet current demands.
Examples of Relevant Climate Frameworks
We’ve listed relevant examples of frameworks which work to improve the climate and promote sustainability.
1. 2030 Climate & Energy Framework
The 2030 Climate & Energy Framework has a range of EU targets and sustainable policies for 2021 to 2030. This coincides with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) laid out by the EU, which has a hard deadline of 2030. Their key targets are as follows;
- At least 40% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions (from 1990 levels)
- At least 32% share for renewable energy
- At least 32.5% improvement in energy efficiency
2. Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG)
As the name suggests, the GHG Protocol is concerned with setting the standards to measure and manage greenhouse gas emissions. They offer a widely-used set of tools, as well as training to get people up to speed. Aimed at government and business leaders, they’ve been in operation since 1998.
3. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Another mouthful, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “prepares comprehensive Assessment Reports about the state of scientific, technical and socio-economic knowledge on climate change.” These include “practical guidelines for the preparation of greenhouse gas inventories,” doing their part to combat the climate crisis.
4. Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)
The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) offers an e-learning platform designed to help organizations to “enhance their disclosures of climate-related information.” The courses are self-paced, and help investors and finance professionals better understand climate issues as well as the business opportunities that come into play as a result of being more environmentally sustainable.
5. Environmental Product Declarations (EPD)
Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) are independently verified and registered documents that show transparent, comparable information about the environmental impact of products over their lifecycle. While an EPD doesn’t imply that a product is environmentally superior to alternatives, it does help to assure consumers that nothing has gone awry somewhere along the supply chain. The more companies sign up, the more transparency between company and consumer, and thus, the better climate conditions will be in the future.
CDP is a global organization which works to “focus investors, companies and cities on taking action to build a truly sustainable economy by measuring and understanding their environmental impact.” They have offices and local partners in over 50 countries and predominantly work with improving climate, water, and forestry conditions.
7. Science-based Targets
Science-based targets help companies to future-proof growth by “specifying how much and how quickly they need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.” Their aim is to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, focusing on the corporate sector. The initiative uses its science-based target setting to measure progress. This framework was founded as a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), World Resources Institute (WRI), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
Sustainable Climate Frameworks: A Summary
It’s clear that a range of sustainable climate frameworks have already changed the world we live in, though much work remains to be done. 2030 is only a decade away and the biggest steps still remain to be taken.
Even then, there’s more to be improved, if we ever want to live in a truly sustainable society. This requires active involvement of every stakeholder, whether public or private, and creating and utilizing standardized frameworks unify efforts, making progress easier to measure and track. Governments have started to do their part, while there’s ample opportunities for the private sector to get involved at the highest levels with environmental frameworks applicable for almost every industry and sector.
Climate change is a global problem with no easy solution, but we’re slowly beginning to make progress in the right direction. There’s no better way than to begin adapting and implementing the various sustainable climate frameworks on offer to structure your changes, track your progress, and make effective data-driven decisions to advance corporate environmental sustainability.
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