SBTi ratchets up ambition

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), has increased its minimum ambition in corporate target setting from ‘well below 2C’ to ‘1.5C’ above pre-industrial levels.

The new strategy is being rolled out in response to increasing urgency for climate action and the success of science-based targets to date. The announcement comes ahead of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report, due to be released on 9 August.

1.5C-aligned targets are now the most common choice for businesses, representing two-thirds of all submissions to the SBTi in 2021. Overall, more than 600 companies from across the world have committed to the highest 1.5C-aligned ambition through the SBTi’s Business Ambition for 1.5C campaign since it launched in June 2019.

The SBTi will focus on accelerating exponential growth in the adoption and implementation of 1.5C aligned science-based targets, particularly from companies in high-emitting sectors and across G20 countries.

The new strategy includes the adoption of new governance and operational models to strengthen the SBTi’s technical authority while providing a more structured and agile project management approach to support efficient, effective and exponential growth. This will include a new and independent technical decision-making body that will help ensure the robustness of key technical decisions, including the selection of scenarios, target setting methods and the approval of new standards and revision of existing ones.

All companies and financial institutions that submit targets from 15 July 2022 will need to align to the new criteria.

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