Tackling climate change through standards
The world is facing a critical challenge. Increasing greenhouse gas emissions are raising the earth’s average temperature. As a result, dramatic climate change is forecast and global scientific opinion predicts enormous developmental, economic, social and environmental stresses on our planet.
Leading climate change experts have put forward a series of practical solutions to tackle climate change. These solutions include the technical standards published by the world’s three leading international standardization organizations: the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
In its groundbreaking report published in 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) cited technical standards, like those published by the IEC, ISO and ITU, as a means of mitigating climate change now, while offering the potential to reduce its effects in the future as new technologies are developed and mature.
The three global organizations are coordinating their work to ensure that government, business and society are provided with the necessary tools to help combat global climate change and to support the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by increasing energy efficiency, while facilitating sustainable development.
The standards produced by the three organizations reach across all sectors identified in the IPCC report where mitigation technologies, policies and measures, constraints and opportunities exist, including energy supply, transport, buildings, industry, agriculture, forestry, and waste.
The IEC, ISO and ITU offer a system of standardization whose output includes standards for the following aspects of the fight against climate change:
- Monitoring and measurement of greenhouse gas emissions
- Measuring the carbon footprint of networks and products
- Designing and building energy efficient homes and workplaces
- Benchmarking for good practices including environmental and energy efficiency labeling
- Promoting good practice for environmental management and design, and for energy management
- Disseminating innovative technologies that promise to help reduce the effects of climate change
- Fostering the introduction of new energy-efficient technologies and services
International standards offer policy makers, industry and users the common tools they need to work together on tackling climate change. The three partner organizations also offer a comprehensive system in which nations and the private sector can participate to establish the priorities for tackling climate change in the years ahead. As such, they offer practical solutions with the potential to be used as part of any international agreement following on from the Kyoto Protocol.
Standards from the IEC, ISO and ITU offer the world’s governments and industry the best possible benchmarks to be referenced in any policy making decisions or future climate treaties. The three organizations are working together with other international organizations to ensure that participants at the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference on 7-18 December 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark, will be fully aware of the solutions offered by existing and future International Standards.
- Mr. Jacques Régis, IEC President
- Dr. Alan Morrison, ISO President
- Dr. Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary-General