ISO standards are already well developed in climate change mitigation, providing credible, accepted approaches that measure and account for GHG emissions. Along with management system standards, they help organizations to plan and take effective actions to reduce GHG emissions.
However, in addition to addressing the causes of climate change (mitigation) ISO international standards are now supporting actors in addressing and responding to the impacts of climate change (adaptation). A UK-led adaptation principles and framework standard (ISO 14090) is near completion, along with developments assessing vulnerability and risk and a framework for climate actions.
Opportunities, however, are not limited to these climate change specific international standards. A wide range of mainstream standards are in development and, with new developing guidance, these too can be future-proofed to make their own contribution to climate change adaptation and carbon reduction.
As we move towards a low-carbon and climate-resilient society, these new standards will help organizations to adapt, transform, communicate sustainability performance and better allocate resources. Climate change is fast becoming a business reality through carbon taxes, procurement practice, supply chain risks and extreme weather events.
Significant governmental and private sector collaboration is needed to increase the impact of all climate programmes, and a standards-based approach is important to enable and support coordinated international response.