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International Standards Organization to embed climate considerations in every new standard

27 September 2021 IHS Markit Energy Expert

Calling it a "game-changing moment," the International Standards Organization (ISO) unveiled a plan to embed key climate considerations into every new standard that is created.

The Geneva-based nongovernmental group said 24 September that its climate commitment, known as the London Declaration, was approved by members from 164 countries, following a three-day virtual conference hosted by the British Standards Institution (BSI).

The ISO has produced over 1,000 standards, ranging across manufacturing, oil and natural gas, and petrochemicals industries; transportation and logistics; and services. Many of those standards are used by companies operating in the energy transition.

"The London Declaration is a push from ISO to transform the approach to climate action and advance international work to attain net-zero goals," the organization said in a statement posted on its website.

Also, ISO will retrospectively add the new requirements to all existing standards as they are revised.

The declaration also stipulates that it will facilitate the involvement of civil society and those who are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change in the development of all international standards and publications.

Citing a recent study, the organization said that fewer than one in four of the world's largest companies are on track to meet basic climate change targets, and Europe will miss its 2030 climate goal by 21 years.

"The ISO community has spoken. Together, we have made a historic declaration that reaffirms our commitment to climate action," ISO President Eddy Njoroge said in the statement. "Let's create a climate future that we, and all our future generations, want, need and deserve."

As a voluntary, consensus-based group, ISO's procedures have set the model for developing standards for trading carbon credits, as well as other programs to incentivize climate change solutions.

"Consensus-based standards are in a unique position to enact positive climate action," said Scott Steedman, director-general, standards at the BSI. "The sheer scale that standards operate at and the vital role they play for government and industry alike means they can accelerate the achievement of the climate goals. The declaration will help ensure that climate-friendly standards become the norm across all industries."

The group also unveiled its Climate Action Kit, a package to support policymakers in their commitment to reducing net GHG emissions.

--Original reporting by Abdul Latheef, OPIS

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