The Paris Agreement was adopted on 12 December 2015 at the annual Conferences of the Parties (COP) summit. Signatory countries came together to assess global progress in dealing with climate change and establish legally binding obligations for developed countries to drastically reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Civic society, business and a host of NGOs have all played important roles, contributing to the new international consensus.
COP21 in December 2015 famously led to the signing of the Paris Agreement, which sets out a global plan to limit global warming to well below 2°C. Such global plans are badly needed, and International Standards are an integral part of the solution – crucial in supporting the climate change framework.
Most of the countries in the world signed the Paris Agreement, making commitments not just for governments but also reflecting an unprecedented momentum for action from cities, companies and communities (the so called non-state actors). For these important contributors and for their governments, international standards have a unique role to play. They offer a route for building effective frameworks and tools, all developed through international consensus, and are vital in underpinning the growth of new technologies, new markets and economic transformation.
GHG emissions quantification, monitoring and reporting, and promoting good practice in environmental management and design, are just some of the ways in which ISO international standards help organizations address climate change. ISO has produced hundreds of environment-related standards, including those that help to open world markets to clean energy and energy-efficient technologies and support climate change adaptation and mitigation schemes.