COP 21, the annual Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), has started and this year’s talks and negotiations are particularly vital to the future of climate change as they represent a critical opportunity for a global agreement to limit global warming to 2 °C.
Organizations, regulators, companies and cities need tools to address climate change, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and manage mitigation and adaptation.
“We all need to find innovative solutions to adapt to climate change. Encouraging preventive actions and implementing solutions are an ambitious task, but we have at our disposal tools like International Standards to help us achieve sustainable development goals and to make a success of COP 21,” said Acting ISO Secretary-General Kevin McKinley.
"How can you judge the suitability of an emissions reduction plan when everyone is working away in their own little corner? That’s where voluntary standards come in – standards produced collectively by users, for users. Without them, it becomes impossible to include climate change adaptation in a balanced way", adds Olivier Peyrat, Director-General of AFNOR and ISO Vice-President (finance).
ISO has produced over 570 environment-related standards, including those that monitor climate change, quantify GHG emissions and promote good practice in environmental management and design. These standards can help stakeholders address climate change and support the efforts of developed and developing countries in relation to mitigation and adaptation.
For example, ISO has a family of standards, including ISO 14064 and ISO 14065, that help organizations to quantify their greenhouse gas emissions and communicate on them, while others, such as ISO 14001 and ISO 50001, help promote good practice in environmental and energy management.
Organizations also need consistent and comparable climate change actions and methodologies, as well as effective and transparent communication on the results of these methodologies. A future standard is now under development, ISO 14080, Guidance with framework and principles for methodologies on climate actions, which will provide guidance on a framework for developing new methodologies as well as on the use of existing methodologies for climate action and their review, revision and management to meet stakeholder needs.
ISO-GHGMI side event for climate neutrality and resilience
In order to highlight the tools that are available to stakeholders and address current gaps where new tools are needed, ISO and the Greenhouse Gas Management Institute (GHGMI) have partnered to present an official side event during COP 21 on the theme “Climate neutrality and resilience”.
This side event will focus on building collaboration between standards-setting bodies by discussing current gaps that exist in climate change standards and facilitating discussion on how to build collaboration between global programmes for new standards development activities. For more information on this event, please see the programme.
COP 21 under the umbrella of ISO 20121 for sustainable events
To welcome tens of thousands of visitors, COP 21 has chosen a sustainable format for the event by following ISO 20121, Event sustainability management systems – Requirements with guidance for use. The standard specifies requirements for an event sustainability management system and provides guidance on conforming to those requirements. It is a concrete tool that helps ensure the event contributes to the three dimensions of sustainability: economic, environmental and social.
ISO 20121 has been designed to address the management of improved sustainability throughout all event-related activities during the entire management cycle. It requires organizations to recognize their relationship with, and impact on, society and society's expectations of an event.
In taking this approach, the government of France wishes to establish and implement an event sustainability management system, ensure that it is in compliance with its stated sustainable development policy, and demonstrate voluntary conformity with the standard.