Exploring the Science-Based-Target Initiative & Project Drawdown

All roads lead to Rome but only some to a Sustainable Future

We mentioned before that we have a staggering amount of 650+ different frameworks for sustainable development around the world. Our narrative, methods, measuring techniques and goals are becoming increasingly complex. We are simultaneously trying to solve thousands of challenges around the world, some of them easily co-exist, others are contradictory or even cancel each other out. E.g. In underdeveloped regions, developing roads, dams, and power grids might be a high priority, although it will cause some unavoidable fragmentation of habitats and compromising the integrity of the natural ecosystem, leading to risks to biodiversity as well as social risks. (Source: Science Council)

Because the challenges we are trying to tackle are so complex and interconnected it is extremely important to accelerate sustainable development based on  sturdy, well thought out and science based frameworks. Today we will dive into these frameworks as we will be exploring the Science Based Targets and Project Drawdown. 

Science Based Targets 

The Science-Based-Target initiative (SBTi) is a collaborative partnership between a bunch of organizations with fancy abbreviations, CDP, UNGC, WRI and WFF. To be more precise, we are talking about the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the United Nations Global Compact, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The purpose of the SBTi is to drive ambitions towards targeted climate action. 

Climate scientists have been trying to get the message across for decades. We must dramatically lower our carbon emissions to curb the global temperature rise and avoid the worst effects and devastating consequences of climate change. The Science Based Targets are designed to show companies how and how quickly they need to lower their emissions in order to prevent the worst effects. 

The Science-Based-Target initiative focussed focused most of its energy on;

  • Promotion of best practices to reduce emissions.
  • Technical assistance and development and distribution of resources in order to accelerate the decrease in emissions. 
  • Assessment and validation of the targets by independent experts. 
  • Lead partner of a global United Nations coalition calling for companies globally to set net-zero targets. 

The challenge of the SBTi “the race is on to limit global warming to 1.5°C and prevent the worst effects of climate change”.  The 1.5°C goal comes from the 2015 Paris Agreement, in which all global leaders committed to keeping the temperature well below 2°C.

The aim is “to mobilize the private sector to take the lead on urgent climate action”.  Meaning that they are activating and urging businesses and other for-profit organizations to implement sustainable practices and aim to reduce their carbon footprint and negative ecological impact. 

The vision of the initiative is that “science-based target setting will become the new normal, creating a thriving economy in harmony with the natural world that sustains us all”.  

Setting goals and building your strategy based on Science-Based Targets gives organizations a strong and scientifically accurate basis for action. A clear and substantiated direction can help businesses to get their stakeholders on board and accelerate the transition to a sustainable future. Are you already working with Science-Based Targets? Or do you want to start this journey but don’t know how to get started? Feel free to drop us a line. We are always keen to learn more first hand or help you out with kick starting your SBTi journey. 

Project Drawdown 

The mission here is to help the world reach the “Drawdown” point, the moment when Greenhouse gas levels peak, stop climbing and then steadily start to decline. Of course, the true goal is to stop climate change, preferably as quickly, safely and equitably as possible. 

To accelerate the implementation of climate solutions it’s important to understand what the activities are that lead to the carbon emissions that are destabilizing the current climate. We are pumping carbon emissions into the air for a wide range of reasons; for transportation, heating, manufacturing products, fertilizing crops, producing plastics, the list can go on. On the other hand, we are clearing forests, emptying the oceans (which serve as huge carbon sinks) and decreasing biodiversity which destabilizes complete ecosystems, again leading to the loss of natural carbon sinks. 

During the Last 50 Years, our global population more than doubled, and our economy grew 5.5 times. Read this again, this is twice as many people as fifty years ago, doing almost six times more stuff. Leading to a tripling in food demand, close to a doubling in water use demand and a tripling in the use of fossil fuels. (Source: Drawdown.org)

Very (extremely) simply put we must lower the emission levels and increase the amount of carbon that is captured by natural sinks. We have to take action on three connected area’s, and this only works when we work together, globally, simultaneously and with persistence. 

  1. Reduce carbon sources – bring the global emission levels to zero.
  2. Support sinks – uplift and improve nature’s carbon cycle, embracing the carbon-capturing capabilities of oceans and forests. 
  3. Improve society – fostering equality for all. 

Every action area includes various sectors and subgroups, ranges of solutions, methods and technologies. Together they form the Drawdown Framework for Climate Solutions. Solutions vary from technological innovations like alternative cement and concentrated solar panels to solutions that require a shift in behaviour like, bicycle riding, carpooling and a global switch to plant-rich diets. You can check out all the solutions via drawdown.org

If you are running a business or thinking about starting one, make sure you check out the SBTi and Project Drawdown and explore how you can guide your organization towards a sustainable future.  And of course make sure to drop us a line once you need help. 

Happy Sprinting

Minou & Pamela

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