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International ISO standards against climate change, at COP 25

02/12/2019

The UN Climate Change Conference COP 25 will take place in Madrid, from today until 13 December, under the Presidency of the Government of Chile and with the support of the Government of Spain. The Ministry of Ecological Transition has stated that the COP25 will open a new stage in climate negotiations to prevent the temperature from increasing more than 2ºC by the end of the century with respect to pre-industrial levels, and if possible, to not exceed 1.5ºC.

Standardisation is a strategic ally of organisations in the fight against climate change, as it provides useful tools to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, to adapt to the effects of climate change and to obtain adequate funding to achieve these objectives.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) participated in the COP 25 in Madrid on 4 December, underlining the role of ISO standards in the transition to a carbon-neutral economy. ISO standards provide the best practice, knowledge, collaboration and commitment from countries that are needed to address this global challenge. There are now 220 ISO standards addressing climate change that enhance the credibility, consistency, and transparency of the verification process. In total, more than 600 ISO standards help organisations in their environmental protection strategy.

In Spain, the Spanish Association for Standardization, UNE, plays an important role in the development and application of ISO standards, thus ensuring that the voices of experts from Spanish organizations and industries are heard in the global forums where standards are developed. Spain has a representation in the group CTN 216/GT 2 Climate Change, which includes representatives from various economic sectors and Public Administrations.

Examples of standards in this field are the series UNE-EN ISO 14064 which specify the principles and requirements at the organization level for quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals. and requirements for verification. In the specific case of the carbon footprint of products and services, the standard of reference is the UNE-EN ISO 14067.

The requirements to be fulfilled by organisations carrying out this verification are set forth in the UNE-EN ISO 14065 and UNE-ISO 14066. The principles, requirements and guidelines for communication of footprint information is found in standard UNE-EN ISO 14026.

Regarding adaptation to climate change, the ISO 14090 family allows organisations to establish a proper framework, understand impacts and uncertainties and establish adaptation plans.

The future ISO 14097 Standard will help to align organisations' economic investments with climate objectives.

SDG

In addition, these standards will help organisations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to climate change and the environment. Thus, they will help to achieve SDG 13 on climate action; SDG 15 Preserving diverse forms of life on land and SDH 7 on affordable and clean energy.