COP26: “Our 2050 World” pledges to accelerate non-state actors in the Race to Zero using standards

A new commitment to help non-state actors accelerate their Race to Zero using standards is announced on stage at COP26 in the United Nations Global Innovation Hub, on 4 November 2021 at 18:00 GMT.

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The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the British Standards Institution (BSI) and the UN-backed Race To Zero campaign have worked together to create “Our 2050 World”, a new initiative to address the urgent climate challenge through the convening power of standards.

Despite an increasing number of net-zero corporate commitments, there is a lack of direction for business leaders as to how these targets can be met. Analysis by sustainable finance firm Arabesque published earlier this year states that fewer than 25 % of the world’s big public companies are on track to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Industry needs clear, practical guidance to meet its net-zero ambitions. Common standards adopted worldwide could make a substantial contribution to providing that guidance and accelerate progress by non-state actors including companies, organizations and cities worldwide.

Our 2050 World aims to:

  1. Provide clarity and consistency on net-zero targets, measurement and reporting
  2. Make climate action easier with accessible and pragmatic guidance
  3. Accelerate innovation with standards

Working together with other standards organizations, Our 2050 World will:

  • Take forward the London Declaration, a commitment made by ISO and its members in September 2021, to accelerate the application of existing and future standards based on climate science and ensure that the consensus process includes the views of civil society and those most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
  • Convene leading players in the international standards system, governments and other international bodies to ensure that, wherever possible, standards and regulations are systematically supportive to accelerate our collective vision. It will also include harnessing the synergy with similar initiatives, including those outlined in the IEC and ISO Climate Action Kit.

Scott Steedman, Director-General Standards at BSI and ISO Vice-President (policy), said: “We recognize the urgent need for better guidance and clear metrics for organizations everywhere to track emissions reductions and progress to net-zero targets. Agreeing common standards on principles, processes and products and services that can work with national regulatory frameworks will accelerate the global transition.

Scott Steedman

Scott Steedman, Director-General Standards at BSI and ISO Vice-President (policy).

“As a member of ISO, BSI is well placed to engage with the trusted, global standards network to deliver real, practical change through the promotion of common approaches to solving complex problems. The national delegation process on which International Standards are built means that all voices can be heard and together, all stakeholders can capture good practice and agree on the best way forward. Our 2050 World will enable transformational collective action to ensure that the future will be decided through consensus.”

Sergio Mujica, Secretary-General of ISO, said: “Our 2050 World will help move us from the London Declaration commitments to action. We recognize the need to mobilize our networks to drive real change quickly and effectively in order to help countries meet their net-zero targets and build a sustainable future. International Standards are instrumental in helping implement policies more effectively. Together, we will reach our climate goals more quickly.”

For more information, please visit: our2050.world

About ISO

ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 165 national standards bodies. Through its members, it brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market-relevant International Standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges. ISO has published more than 24 000 International Standards and related documents covering almost every industry, from technology to food safety, to agriculture and healthcare. For more information, please visit iso.org.

About BSI

BSI (British Standards Institution) is appointed by the UK government as the national standards body and represents UK interests at the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the European Standards Organizations (CEN, CENELEC and ETSI). BSI traces its origins to 1901 and became the world’s first national standards body. Its role is to help improve the quality, safety and integrity of products, services and systems by facilitating the creation and maintenance of consensus-based, market-led standards and encouraging their use. BSI publishes over 2 700 standards annually and withdraws over 1 500 old or superseded standards using a collaborative approach, engaging with industry experts, government bodies, trade associations, businesses of all sizes and consumers to develop standards that reflect good practice.

To learn more about standards, please visit: bsigroup.com/standards; for information on BSI, see: bsigroup.com/nsb.

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