Overline: Workshop
Headline: Climate Change Mitigation – Global Standardization

Climate Change Mitigation – Global Standardization
Stocktaking – Gaps & Needs
ISO ‘London Declaration’ Commitment to SDG 13 ‘Climate Action’

29.03.2023 – 30.03.2023

Time:  9.00-18.00 / 9.00-15.00

By invitation only

In this workshop, the roles and contributions of global and WTO accepted non-state standardization organizations, i.e. the International Standardization Organization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) as well as their European standardization organization pendants (CEN/CENELEC) towards the UN-SD goal 13 ’Climate Action’ are focused.

The aim is to bring together different actors interested in these non-state organizations’ activities in a workshop to stimulate discussions , i.e. private activities and developments of standards for mitigation of climate change (excluded here adaptation) standards for SDG 13: standard developers, companies as users, business organizations (such as BDI), consultants and auditors, validators and verifiers, policy agencies (UBA/EEA), (E)NGOs, accounting firms (like KPMG), science, etc.

The stocktaking will be a four step approach on standards already available, under development, newly proposed/submitted and, probably most interestingly, identification of gaps and needs’ to meet the challenges of the Paris Agreement (to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels).
ISO in its Technical Committee (TC) 207 on Environmental Management established following the Rio Summit of 1992, started in 2004/207 work also in an additional Subcommittee (SC) 7 on GHG quantification, reporting and verification and since then developed a comprehensive system of the ISO 1406x series for organizations, projects and products  concerning the Kyoto Greenhouse Gases and their Global Warming Potential (GWP) – the systemic basis for further and ongoing standard developments towards/concerning e.g. Carbon Neutrality, Net Zero, Avoided and Removed Emissions.

The London Declaration from September 2021 to combat climate change through standards defines ISO’s commitment to achieve the climate agenda by 2050 and thus raising the level of ambition for climate action.

Other ISO TCs and Subcommittees, e.g. on Sustainable Buildings, Sustainable Finance, Circular Economy, or Biodiversity have included climate change concerns into their considerations and work programs as well.

In an IEC TC/SC, the hot topic of avoided emissions, for example, is under parallel and separate development to the ISO process inside this regular standardization organization as well as outside in private consortia like prominently  the GHG Protocol well received in the market place – thus constituting one of several other groups in competition to the traditional standardization organizations with more flexible and faster reactions to rising business concerns and activities towards carbon neutrality/net zero transition pathway claims, with crediting and marketing instruments however running the risks of greenwashing.

Particular regard will be given to the finance sector and its rising importance in the challenge of financing investments according to the new Taxonomy in Europe or the ISO standard 14030-3 for urgent nearterm transformation processes and needs towards the Paris Agreement goals of the whole economy and especially GHG intensive sectors, such as construction and cement, traffic /mobility, agriculture/nutrition, and others.

Thus, this workshop will provide a rare opportunity to envision the whole and related, however often unsufficiently coordinated, spectrum of standardization activities targeting climate change mitigation, which usually are developed in their particular silos, separate from correlations with other activities, similar to their intents– the term and controversial concept of avoided emissions dealt with in different standardization bodies might illustrate new challenges of cross-coordination between such similar business activities with superior and fundamental political aims.

The ISO London Declaration and commitment to climate change mitigation (and adaptation) with an according action plan and a commissioned study on available standards related to climate change as well as on gaps and needs to even better meet the PA goals, is intended to provide guidance towards this goal of increasing coordination, efficiency and timely manner of standards developments to which all stakeholders are invited to contribute to solid science based targets.