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What is the new SBTi Net Zero Standard?

By Annie Hockley
26th October 2021

The Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is set to launch the world’s-first science-based Net-Zero Standard on October 28th, and will clarify the key role of decarbonisation in corporate net-zero strategies. 

The SBTi will make this announcement just before COP26. The climate conference will bring together Heads of State, Climate Experts and Campaigners to accelerate climate action globally. By coinciding with COP26, we hope the SBTi will receive great traction from around the world.

In summary, science-based corporate net-zero targets will require:

  • Emissions reductions in line with a global temperature increase of 1.5°C before 2050 across Scopes 1, 2 and 3
  • Near-term targets and rapid action to reduce emissions over 5-10 years in line with 1.5°C 
  • Long-term deep decarbonisation of ~90% across all Scopes before 2050
  • A limited dependance on carbon removals to neutralize emissions that cannot yet be eliminated (5-10%)
  • External verification of corporate net-zero targets and annual progress reporting

The Standard will redefine what a credible net zero target looks like and clarify the key role of decarbonisation in corporate net-zero strategies. This new guidance will lead to more credible Net Zero claims, with companies soon to be able to sign up to a target for the short term, and the new ‘long-term target’, together allowing a company to have their Net Zero target validated by the SBTi.

The need for more guidance around Net Zero is significant, with current confusion about its meaning and credibility. This will be the first Global Standard on Net Zero, providing clear criteria to align to, creating short-term action and long-term commitment.

The SBTi is ratcheting up ambition for their targets in alignment with the IEA (International Energy Agency) Report on Global Net Zero by 2050, which was published this year. This report shows what each sector of the global economy will be required to do in order to play their part in restricting Global Warming to only 1.5°C.

Next steps your organisation can take today:

  • Join our Webinar at COP26 on the new guidance
  • If you have a Net Zero Target or have signed the Business Ambition for 1.5C:
    • Align to the new Science Based Target Net Zero Standard upon its release in order to work towards a Validated Net Zero Target.
  • If you have a Science Based Target, this will now be referred to as a ‘near -term’ Science Based Target, you should check that it is aligned to the new guidance. 

We are excited for this new Net Zero Standard to drive economy-wide alignment and long-term business planning in order to work towards our global climate goals. Read the FAQ from the SBTi here.

Sign up for our virtual briefing on the new standard and how your business will be affected. Register here.