Reflecting on COP27 and Rallying for SBTi
Despite two weeks of COP27 climate talks, few commitments were made by world leaders to put us on a path to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis. It’s never been more important for companies across the globe to step up and set science-based GHG targets.
Urgency. Alarm. Passion. Hope. COP27 gave a stage to all sorts of emotions about our collective imperative: we must reduce GHG emissions faster - across all industries - despite unprecedented economic and societal uncertainties. A key takeaway from COP27? Urgency. For those of us in the building industry, it means a steadfast urgency to accelerate our commitment to drive the total carbon of buildings to zero.
The latest UNEP Emissions Gap Report found that as a global society we still do not have a credible pathway to achieve our common goal of limiting global temperature increase to 1.5°C. As concerning, as of October 2022, only 24 countries updated their national commitment according to the UNCC, to reduce their GHGs, despite all countries agreeing to update their commitments one year earlier at COP26.
So… we all need to dig in even further on climate! Bigger commitments, stronger collaboration, leaning in together because we know it will take all of us. What’s the landscape look like today?
- In 2015 after COP21, when the Paris Climate Accord was adopted, we knew we needed to reduce GHG emissions rapidly. Since then, progress has been made, but today we know that as a society we remain alarmingly off track from the reductions needed to keep the global temperature rise below a 1.5 °C increase– to do this requires a reduction in GHG emissions of 50% by 2030 on a path to net zero by 2050. By contrast, global GHG emissions are projected to hit a record high in 2022.
- The need for buildings continues to grow, and with it, the operational carbon emissions associated with operating buildings and the embodied carbon associated with the life cycle of the building products is growing. Leading architects and designers, general contractors, home builders, and home improvement retailers have heard the climate action clock ticking and are looking for ways to move faster. Together, we face the same question ‘are we doing enough – are we reducing GHG emissions fast enough – to do our part?’
- Science provides answers to complex problems. For companies, as we each consider whether we are acting fast enough, we are lucky to have the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) as the leading framework that can help us clearly answer this question. SBTi allows us to set GHG reduction goals based on the science needed to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C.
Passionate about science, SBTi and addressing climate change
Driving the kind of action needed, at the pace of change needed, will undoubtedly require passion. Many of us are surrounded by passionate colleagues within our own organizations and across the industry. How do we best channel that passion?
Science gives us the answer! A science-based target, as defined by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), is the leading commitment that companies can make- that guides how quickly an organization needs to reduce its GHG emissions in order to do its “fair share” and do so fast enough. SBTi helps organizations pinpoint how much work must be done and how quickly in order to support our global goal of limiting temperature increase to 1.5°C and, in doing so, avoiding the worst impacts of the climate crisis. To help provide independent assessment and validation of targets, this initiative has a team of specialists to lend their expertise. Turning passion into powerful change
Calling on all companies to commit to SBTi
Commitment to the global community is demonstrated through our actions - Fulfilling our pledge to operate more sustainably and innovating to deliver solutions as if our future depends on it – because it does. We need to trust science to guide actions, operations and innovations – and that’s why the Science Based Targets initiative is critical. As more and more customers and suppliers commit to Science Based Targets, and work to drive progress against our ambitious goals, we have the opportunity to learn from each other about how we bring our GHG vision into reality. We, at DuPont, want to share with the industry, more about our commitment to the Science Based Targets initiative. We hope our commitment inspires and catalyzes yours as we tackle the complex challenge of climate change together.
We are in this together – building a community of purpose, powered by passion, and driven by good science – with a shared resolve to do what’s needed to close the enormous emissions gap. We are calling for others to join us, let’s connect and multiply our impact -Before the climate action clock runs out of time.