In the UK, the legal target to achieve Net Zero is by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement. Globally, legislation and country-specific Net Zero targets differ region to region.
Momentum is building and there has been a surge in commitments from both governments and organisations to achieve Net Zero. On a global scale, we will reach Net Zero when the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) we emit is no more than the amount we remove. A Net Zero Roadmap provides the steps and goals required to reduce emissions so there is no net increase in GHG.
Supporting an organisation through this process is a service which THG Eco can provide; carbon footprinting, life-cycle assessments, carbon reduction strategies, Net Zero road mapping, setting science-based targets and SBTi submission.
The below depicts the various trends of GHG emissions up to 2100, with various scenarios noted dependant on current policies and targets. The projection “1.5°C consistent” shown in green is that aligned with the 1.5°C Science Based Target (SBT), set by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi).
The strategy for completion of a Net Zero roadmap can vary from business to business, but as a general rule, it will follow the steps outlined below.
1. Footprinting and Data Analysis
- Calculation of Scope 1, 2, and 3 GHG emissions footprint to determine the reduction strategy
- Annual review of targets against the GHG emission reduction strategy, and recalculate of GHGs accordingly
Once this is completed, usually within 6-12 weeks dependant on the size of the organisation, reduction targets and strategies aligned with the SBTi are required.
2. Net Zero Targets and Strategy
- Online registration with SBTi and submission of commitment letter to be sent
- A Science Based Target aligned with current SBTi criteria of 1.5°C for Scope 1 and 2, and well-below 2°C for Scope 3 within 5 to 10 years
- Clearly defined near-term and long-term targets to reduce GHG emissions
- A plan for selecting credible carbon removal projects to enable the delivery of a robust Net Zero strategy (only to be considered once you have maximised emissions reductions)
With the emissions calculated and strategy set, an organisation can progress to submitting these targets to the SBTi to ensure these are aligned with their requirements and achievable.
3. SBTi Submission and Target Validation
- Confirmation that submissions are in line with basic SBTi requirements
- Reviewing feedback from SBTi’s technical experts and incorporating into your Net Zero strategy
Approval from the SBTi allows an organisation to publish approved targets on the SBTi website and continue with their reduction strategy towards achieving Net Zero.
The SBTi recognises that not all emissions can be fully offset. Once the maximum reduction is achieved, any residual emissions can be offset through the purchase of carbon removal credits. These are offsets sourced from projects that sequester carbon directly from the atmosphere and permanently store it, such as blue carbon and direct air capture.
Once this is achieved, an organisation will have achieved Net Zero, creating a positive climate impact.
For more information, or if you have any questions about taking the next steps in cost-effective climate action, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image Source: Climate Analytics
Guest blog provided by Adam Lowe, The Hut Group