The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) released new guidelines to help organisations reach net zero as soon as possible, with 2050 being the latest. Its purpose is to promote the highest possible climate action and set common standards for achieving net zero. The new guidelines were published on 11 November to align with the decarbonisation-themed day at COP27. It took three months to create and considered recommendations from 1,200 experts across the world. By developing an extensively informative document, the new ISO guidelines are “intended to be a common reference for governance organizations … and can help organizations taking action to contribute to achieving global net zero.” There are 11 outlined principles surrounding net zero in the guidelines which include:
  • Net zero guiding principles for all organizations
  • Incorporating net zero into strategies and policies
  • What net zero means at different levels and for different types of organisation
  • Setting and aligning interim and long-term targets based on equity, latest scientific knowledge, evidence, research and agreed good practice
  • Actions to take to achieve these targets
  • Prioritisation
  • Ambition
  • Credibility
  • Decision-making based on science.
Throughout the new guidelines are various levels of “guidance on what governance organizations and other organisations can do to effectively contribute to global efforts to limit warming to 1.5 °C by achieving net zero no later than 2050.” It also explores other in-depth topics including carbon offsets and credits, transparent reporting, and nature protection restoration. The ISO guidelines have also listed and defined key terms related to climate action. They are free to download for anyone who registers with an email address. ISO president, Ulrika Franke, said, “This publication is a historic milestone in bringing the international community closer to delivering on climate commitments and set the world on the right path for 2050.” According to the latest research by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), global warming could rise to a catastrophic 2.5°C if strict net zero guidelines are not followed. Reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) showed that the likelihood of exceeding warming limits decreases with earlier and faster emission reductions, as well as with lower peak warming. The UN’s climate change body, the UNFCCC, and the UN’s High-Level Champions on Climate Change have all welcomed the report.  
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