Mind the Science, Mind the Gap: Aligning Corporate GHG Emissions Reduction Targets with Climate Science
Developing science-based methods to help companies align emissions target-setting practices with global climate goals.
When the IPCC released its Fifth Assessment Report, its message was clear: We must do much more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to keep below 2 °C and limit climate change’s impacts. By presenting the current science, impacts, and options for addressing climate change, the IPCC has laid the groundwork for governments and the private sector to start taking more ambitious action. The next step for companies is to align their own plans with larger climate goals.
WRI, CDP, and WWF launched the “Mind the Science, Mind the Gap” initiative to develop a new, sector-specific methodology that helps companies set science-based emission-reduction targets based on the IPCC decarbonization pathway that would keep global temperature rise below 2 °C. Rather than basing goals on reduction projects a company has in the pipeline, our methodology asks “How much do climate scientists and the IPCC recommend reducing emissions in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, and how can we meet that challenge?”
The “Mind the Science, Mind the Gap” initiative seeks to raise the ambition of corporate target-setting levels and drive bolder business solutions. The first phase of the project includes developing a target-setting methodology that allows companies to set credible, science-based GHG emissions reduction targets on a company-wide level—with as little effort as possible and consistent with the IPCC 2 °C scenario. WRI, CDP, and WWF will also develop a guidance document. The guidance will review available science-based goal setting methods, recommfend how to choose the most appropriate approach, and describe ways to practically implement the method within a company. The second phase of the project, to be launched in 2015, will include outreach and engagement with companies on goal-setting as well as additional activities to track companies’ performance.