With fake news competing with real science on how to tackle such key issues as global warming and the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever that common standards are agreed and that everyone knows what the proven best practice is. Now in its 17th edition, the 2022 Global Risks Report urges world leaders to come together and adopt a coordinated multi-stakeholder response to ensure the transition to net-zero economies.
This is where ISO can play a key role by providing a centralized resource so that experts around the world do not have to carry out the same basic experiments, or argue about the truth. The global impact of climate change highlights that very need for consensus, while harnessing humanity’s ability to solve problems faster and more effectively through collaboration.
The London Declaration
The London Declaration represents ISO’s historic commitment to combat climate change through standards. This crucial role for standards was further highlighted by leaders of the G20, as well as at COP26, and ISO stands ready to turn its commitments to action. ISO standards help companies, organizations and governments adapt to climate change, quantify greenhouse gas emissions and promote the dissemination of good practices in environmental management.
These global standards help to measure the carbon footprint of just about anything, anywhere, from globetrotting travellers to gas-guzzling cars. They also help countries in the developing world pollute less, such as by ensuring stringent vehicle emissions standards in Rwanda. Without up-to-date International Standards, industry and other stakeholders will be unable to achieve what is necessary.
ISO has committed to supporting the successful achievement of the Paris Agreement, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the United Nations Call for Action on Adaptation and Resilience. To achieve this, it is key that standards are not decided upon by politicians or business alone, but that they also involve civil society and those most vulnerable to the devastating impact of climate change. Endorsement of the London Declaration by ISO members and the broader international community will go a long way to making this a reality.
Today more than ever, the world has a need for guidance.
As well as offering cutting-edge solutions, ISO standards can provide governments and industry with a structured and pragmatic approach to tackling the harm caused by climate change, empowering them to take action.
The COP26 summit, held in Glasgow in November 2021, exposed the shocking differences that still remain in our approaches to dealing with the most pressing challenge that the world faces: climate change. “There is a deficit of credibility and a surplus of confusion over emissions reductions and net-zero targets, with different meanings and different metrics,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned global leaders at the COP26 summit. In response, Guterres said he would “establish a Group of Experts to propose clear standards to measure and analyse net-zero commitments from non-state actors.”
As the world strives to meet these ambitious net-zero targets, governments, industry leaders, communities and consumers will need to find innovative solutions to the complex challenges posed by climate change. International Standards can play a key role in creating meaningful, consensus-driven change.