GHG emissions and decarbonization

GHG emissions is central to providing transparency into the impacts of climate mitigation initiatives. Measurement, carbon markets, and decarbonisation activities are transforming how businesses interact with climate initiatives

ghg emissions and decarbonization

Despite the significant multi-stakeholder efforts at reducing the amount of harmful Greenhouse Gases (including the 7 recognised gases of CO2, CH4, N2O, HFCs, PFCs, SF6, and NF3) emitted into the atmosphere over the last decades, the amount of GHG has followed an increasing trend. After a brief respite in GHG emissions during the Covid pandemic, the growing trend of GHG emissions resumed in 2022, reaching 53.8 Gt CO2eq which is 1.4% higher than 2021. While global GHG emissions per capita slightly increased by 0.4% in 2022, the emissions intensity per GDP PPP reached its minimum level in 52 years.

Multi-prong approaches to slow down and reduce GHG emissions are being developed, tested, implemented and pursued throughout the world. Compliance and voluntary carbon markets allow for the trading of carbon units through a "cap and trade" system. Launched in 2005, the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) is the largest and the oldest emissions trading systems in operation. In 2021, China launched the world's largest ETS. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is a channel for the trading of carbon credits between developing countries and industrialised countries. In the voluntary carbon markets, several other standards are in place such as Verra's Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) program and the American Carbon Registry (ACR).

To measure and track GHG emissions, the GHG Protocol established a set of guidances for Corporations through the publication of "A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard" in 2004 (expect to be updated in 2024) and follow-on standards on Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions. In the latest EU CSRD,  GRI and IFRS S2 climate-related disclosures for sustainability reporting, representative and comparable GHG emissions disclosures across the value chain is a requirement.

Innovation in climate mitigation is needed to reach the climate mitigation objectives. Technologies such as those for carbon capture, carbon storage, carbon removal along with advanced batteries and hydrogen electrolysers are among those with the most promise of delivering the climate mitigation impacts.

Articles

carbon
GHG emissions reporting: interoperability between CSRD/ESRS, GRI and ISSB
Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 GHG emissions is one of the main required reporting metrics across the three main reporting standards, CSRD/ESRS, GRI and ISSB. Is there a high level of inter-operability in the reporting requirements of this important metric across the published standards? We look into this particular reporting requirement.
February 13, 2024

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