The Carbon Column – From pledges to plans

We have a lot of pledges, but we need more robust plans to achieve net zero, something I address in this week’s Carbon Column

Net Hero Podcast

So many pledges, so few plans.

The Paris Agreement from COP21 committed 193 countries to limit temperatures to below 2oC with a preferred target of 1.5oC.

Since COP26, we have only seen 24 new or updated nationally determined contributions (NDCs) have been presented. Which has been described as “disappointing” by Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change.

All this pledging requires action. Pledges don’t make any difference to our emissions. The pledges need to be backed up by credible plans.

Making the pledge is easy but knowing how to get there can be difficult.

Especially for smaller businesses.

Smaller businesses find it difficult to understand how to get to net zero. They don’t often have the resources in house to deliver the necessary actions and don’t think they have the knowledge or capability.

There has been little information available in a standard format for how businesses can plan to get to net zero.

Until now.

 

Transition Plan Taskforce

The Transition Plan Taskforce was set up in April 2022 and have recently released their guidance for private section transition plans.

The guidance is designed to support companies with a framework to create credible, useful and consistent transition plans.

The guidance is open to consultation until the end of February 2023 and the final guidance documents will be published in summer 2023.

This framework is based on three principles:

  1. Ambition; contribute to and prepare for a rapid and orderly economy-wide net zero transition
  2. Action; focus on concrete actions which emphasise the short-term and strive for resilience
  3. Accountability; Enable delivery of the plan through clear governance mechanisms along with consistent, comparable and decision-useful reporting and verification.

Understanding this framework in more detail can really help a business with the transition to a low-carbon economy.

These three principles are broken down into five disclosure elements: foundation, implementation strategy, engagement strategy, metrics & targets and governance.

Under each disclosure element is the disclosure sub-elements which a business can follow to create a transition plan that follows a robust standard aligning to government targets of net zero by 2050.

It won’t be easy but taking the time and effort to create a plan is what we all need to do.

Please feel free to email me if you have any thoughts on this or anything related to net zero.