Know The Facts

What is Climate crisis? What does it mean for the future?

Humanity is consuming an enormous amount of fossil fuels and emitting a tremendous amount of greenhouse gases, leading to the earth getting warmer faster than at any point in recorded history. And we are on the verge of crossing nearly all of the planetary boundaries that will unleash the climate beast, that will have a knock-on effect on socioeconomic reordering, geopolitical fragmentation, technological acceleration and physical and mental health decline. Even if we ignore the moral need of taking action, the climatic and ecological crises have far-reaching implications for every sector, mainly services. The business-as-usual response is irrelevant at this point. 

Why Decarbonization is important in facing the climate crisis?

Decarbonization is important because it is the most effective strategy to combat climate change by lowering global warming. What we do in the next decade to restrict emissions will be vital to the future, which is why every country, sector, company, and individual must collaborate to develop methods to reduce and abate the carbon we emit. 

Furthermore, Carbon emissions are the easiest to manage of all the many Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) matrix. We already measure them for the most part, in accordance with a well acknowledged protocol (GHG Protocol). They are also simple to audit.

What is Net Zero?

a state in which the greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere are balanced by an equal amount being removed from the atmosphere.

What is Climate Mitigation?

The attempt to reduce the production of greenhouse gasses to minimise the resultant warming.

What is Climate Adaptation?

The process of actively reducing the risks posed by climate change.

What is Sustainability?

Meeting the needs of current generations without compromising the needs of future generations. This demands living and growing in ways that support the wellbeing of all people and the environment we depend on indefinitely.

Key Terms

A naturally occurring element that’s essential to life. It appears in multiple “pure-forms” including diamond, graphite and graphene. 

Carbon emissions stem from Carbon’s ability to combine easily with other elements, such as Oxygen (O) and Hydrogen (H), forming gasses such as Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) respectively. 

Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) is an evaluation of a firm’s collective conscientiousness for social and environmental factors. It is typically a score that is compiled from data collected surrounding specific metrics related to intangible assets within the enterprise

any gas in the atmosphere which absorb infrared radiation in the form of heat. They are not just carbon-based. The primary GHGs include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), Perfluorocarbons (PFCs), Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) and Nitrogen trifluoride (NF3)3

GHG Protocol establishes comprehensive global standardized frameworks to measure and manage greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from private and public sector operations, value chains and mitigation actions.

Anthropogenic refers to the consequences and impacts resulting from or produced by human activities.

Anthropogenic emissions refers to GHG emissions caused by human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. 

The IPCC define NetZero as achieving a balance between the amount of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere and anthropogenic removals of emissions over a specific time period.

In contrast to a gross-zero target, which would reduce emissions from all sources uniformly to zero, a net-zero emissions target is more realistic because it allows for some residual emissions.

Often measured annually, NetZero looks beyond just carbon to include all human caused GHGs of a Nation or organisation.

There are two recognised routes to achieving NetZero with most strategies adopting a combination of the two;

  • Reducing existing GHG emissions
  • Actively removing GHG’s from the atmosphere

Refers to a target set by an organisation or nation to balance their GHG emissions and removals by the year 2050. This aligns with the IPCC’s science based target to ensure temperature rise does not exceed 2°C by 2050 and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C as set out in the Paris Agreement.

Often conflated with NetZero Carbon 2050, which focusses solely on carbon emissions, not all GHGs.

This is the term given to Greenhouse Gas targets or goals which are defined based on a holistic understanding of how much carbon emissions need to collectively reduce in the atmosphere by 2050. A carbon target is deemed “Science-Based” if it is developed in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature increase to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.

Based on the Sectoral Decarbonisation Approach (SDA) created collaboratively by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), CDPUN Global Compact, the World Resources Institute and WWF, Science Based Targets enable companies to set a specific carbon emissions target based on the required decarbonisation trajectory of their sector, or the sectors in which they each operate.

“Scopes or “Scope emissions” is the name given to the accounting framework used to characterise and group GHG emissions based on their source and use. Developed by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, there are three scope types; Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3.

Scope 1

Direct Emissions

  • Onsite fuel combustion
  • Company vehicles
  • Facilities
  • Equipment

Owned Assets

Scope 1 relates to direct GHG emissions from sources that are owned and controlled by the reporting company.

Scope 2

Indirect Emissions

  • Purchased Electricity
  • Purchased Heating
  • Purchased Cooling

Energy Purchased

Scope 2 relates to indirect GHG emissions that are a consequence of the activities of the reporting company, but occur at sources owned or controlled by another company. Specifically, they are GHG emissions from the generation of purchased or acquired energy.

Scope 3

Indirect Emissions

  • Transportation
  • Distribution
  • Waste
  • Equipment

Owned Assets

Scope 3 relates to indirect upstream and downstream GHG emissions that are not owned or controlled by a business. Scope 3 essentially includes everything that cannot be characterised as scope 2.

Scope 4

Avoided Emissions

  • Upstream
  • Use
  • Downstream
  • Transportation

Outside Value Chain

Dating back to 2013, the GHG Protocol identified avoided emissions as emission reductions which occur outside of a product’s lifecycle or value chain, but as a result of the use of the product. 

True carbon zero