COP26 and its lead up have seen new national and business commitments set to help combat climate change and reach Net Zero targets; these measures will require quantification of carbon emissions, environmental and social impacts to compare and measure progress, identify barriers to progress.
In an exclusive article, Tom Mills, Founder and Managing Director of Two Oceans Strategy, a natural resource and energy consultancy, discussed some of the challenges of meeting these Net Zero targets and the critical role rigorous and comparable measurements enabled through technology will play in support of these goals. In the article he discussed:
Drivers for Net Zero
Cutting down carbon leakage has been one notable focus of COP26 and will require an understanding of the carbon intensity of production of goods. For this system to work, carbon emissions and greenhouse gases need to be quantified at each stage of the supply chain and Tom will explore some of the legislation and policies around this drive, such as the UKs path to NetZero. He will also touch on the change in consumer mindset, and how this is key to driving change.
Challenges of meeting targets
What can be measured can be managed. As it stands, sustainability reporting is an alphabet soup of fragmented and varying frameworks and Tom can discuss why, some of the biggest barriers to achieve Net Zero, are due to lack of effective and comparative ways of measuring carbon emissions.
The Challenges of Carbon Tunnel Vision
There are signals towards a shift in a narrow focus on pure carbon emissions towards measuring and understanding holistic impacts on biosphere health the lens we should view climate change mitigation and adaptation.
The future of sustainability accounting and the role technology can play in helping achieve Net Zero targets
Tom can set the scene of where we are today when it comes to reporting against people and the planet and where we are likely to be in five years’ time, including the consolidation of sustainability disclosure through a process similar to accounting principals in finance. To overcome the challenge of fragmented reporting, new tools enabled by technology must be developed to streamline the process, standardise methodologies used to generate metrics, and create useful, comparable outputs.