Assessing Net Zero Targets

Assessing Net Zero Targets

Natasha Lutz

6 years: Sustainability and Net Zero

In this video, Natasha Lutz explores the recent surge in net zero targets, covering 92% of global GDP, as a pivotal step towards climate action. She explains how the Net Zero Tracker meticulously assesses these targets, scrutinising clarity, ambition, emissions scope, and implementation plans. She further discovers the importance of integrity in net zero targets, as we delve into the structured four-pronged approach of the Net Zero Tracker.

In this video, Natasha Lutz explores the recent surge in net zero targets, covering 92% of global GDP, as a pivotal step towards climate action. She explains how the Net Zero Tracker meticulously assesses these targets, scrutinising clarity, ambition, emissions scope, and implementation plans. She further discovers the importance of integrity in net zero targets, as we delve into the structured four-pronged approach of the Net Zero Tracker.

Now free to watch

This video is now available for free. It is also part of a premium, accredited video course. Speak to an expert today to watch more.

Assessing Net Zero Targets

7 mins 15 secs

Overview

The recent surge in net zero targets, encompassing 92% of global GDP, is a significant step towards climate action. The Net Zero Tracker evaluates these targets to ensure their efficacy and integrity. It scrutinises the clarity and ambition of the targets, including interim milestones; the breadth of emissions and greenhouse gases addressed; the robustness of implementation plans across all emissions types; and the balance between actual emissions reductions and the use of offsets. A mere 10% of emissions should rely on offsets, emphasising a 90% reduction. This assessment underscores the need for transparency, accountability, and equity, recognising the varied responsibilities of different economies and corporations. The collective aim is to avoid superficial pledges and foster real progress towards a sustainable, net zero future.

Key learning objectives:

  • Understand how the Net Zero Tracker assesses entities' net zero targets

  • Understand why integrity is important when it comes to net zero targets

Now free to watch

This video is now available for free. It is also part of a premium, accredited video course. Speak to an expert today to watch more.

Summary
How does the net zero target assess net zero targets?

The Net Zero Tracker assesses net zero targets through a structured, four-pronged approach. 

Firstly, it examines the specificity of the targets, including the specified deadline for achieving net zero and any interim goals, which are vital for tracking progress. 

Secondly, the scope of the target is scrutinised to ensure it includes all relevant greenhouse gases and spans the full spectrum of emissions, from direct operations to the wider value chain. 

Thirdly, the Tracker evaluates the robustness of governance mechanisms. This involves analysing the completeness of transition plans that entities have in place, assessing their coverage of emissions, detailing reduction measures, and the practicalities of implementing such strategies. 

Lastly, it looks at the balance between emission reductions and reliance on offsets and carbon dioxide removals, emphasising that substantial emissions reductions must precede any offsetting activities. The integrity of these components is checked against criteria like transparency, accountability, and the potential for real-world impact, ensuring that targets are not only set but are also actionable and lead to verifiable outcomes.

Why is it important that net zero targets have integrity?

Integrity is crucial in net zero targets because it underpins their credibility and effectiveness. Without integrity, targets may become mere symbolic gestures that fail to drive the systemic changes needed to address climate change. 

Integrity ensures that pledges are underpinned by robust plans, clear timelines, and transparent reporting, which are essential for holding entities accountable and achieving real emissions reductions. Furthermore, it fosters trust among stakeholders and prevents the erosion of public confidence in climate commitments. Integrity also ensures that net zero is pursued justly, reflecting the responsibility of historically larger emitters and aligning with sustainable development goals, thus promoting an equitable transition to a low-carbon economy.

Now free to watch

This video is now available for free. It is also part of a premium, accredited video course. Speak to an expert today to watch more.

Natasha Lutz

Natasha Lutz

Natasha Lutz is the co-data lead at the Net Zero Tracker, working with an international team of volunteers to keep the database of net zero targets updated. She is also working on a PhD using remote sensing and machine learning to identify fire-prone regions and explore the role of carbon dioxide removal in non-state actors' decarbonisation pathways. Natasha holds a Masters in Environmental Change and Management from Oxford University and a Bachelors of Science with Honours in Environmental Science and Economics from the University of Western Australia.

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