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Standards needed to achieve net-zero, said UNSG at COP26

ISO Climate Change

The world’s leading developers of International Standards – the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) – have signalled their strong interest in working with the United Nations to combat climate change. They were responding to a decision by António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General, to establish a group of experts to “propose clear standards to measure and analyse net-zero commitments from non-state actors”.

The two International Standards development organisations applauded Mr Guterres for recognising the importance of standards in his opening address to COP26 and said they would be delighted to collaborate on any such initiative to share existing standards already widely used and assist in developing future ones to meet world needs.

“The world needs to collaborate now, more than ever, to reach net-zero commitments. ISO standards represent such collaboration and are vital to a sustainable future,” said Sergio Mujica, ISO Secretary-General.

“In support of the realisation of an ‘All Electric Society’, we offer a widely recognised neutral, independent, consensus-based institutional framework that helps building net-zero commitments into systems and infrastructure for concrete contributions to climate change mitigation,” explained Philippe Metzger, IEC General Secretary & CEO.

ISO and IEC have hundreds of internationally agreed standards dedicated to achieving net-zero commitments, including those that measure carbon emissions, define climate change mitigation, frame the use of carbon-free technologies and the corresponding adaptation measures. Many are the international reference used in sustainability policy making.

ISO’s commitment to the net-zero goals was reinforced with the recent London Declaration. The declaration pledges to ensure standards help to accelerate the successful achievement of the Paris Agreement, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the United Nations Call for Action on Adaptation and Resilience. The IEC supports the objectives of this declaration.

The London Declaration is complemented by the ISO and IEC “Climate Action Kit”, a package to support policy makers in their commitment to reducing net greenhouse gas emissions. The package presents case studies on how standards can support public policies and influence climate change initiatives.

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