The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent report gave a stark warning that current pledges from governments are not enough to avoid dangerous levels of climate change. In order to avoid this, we need to be aiming for a maximum of 1.5 degrees of warming above pre-industrial levels.
Current INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) to 2030 mean that we are on a pathway to 4 degrees of warming by the end of the century. This would be truly catastrophic. The process for achieving 1.5 degrees is clear – reduce global carbon emissions to net zero by the middle of the century.
Such a pathway will require a complete transformation in behavior and those changes need to begin today. Truly transformative businesses will be able to leverage the opportunities arising from a transition to zero. As tenants, investors, employees, governments and other relevant stakeholders engage in climate change seriously, the effectiveness of a company’s response will be valued. This offers scope for true differentiation, value enhancement and the launch of new products and services for tenants and landlords.
Following the Paris Agreement, a great stall was put in science-based targets as an appropriate method for determining whether corporate commitments would actually result in a pathway towards a 2-degree scenario. The methodology most commonly adopted by companies setting science-based targets has been the Science-Based Targets Initiative’s (SBTi) sectoral decarbonization approach (SDA). This allows organizations to set carbon reduction targets that depend on the sector in which their business operates. The real estate sector benefits from this methodology by being a relatively low emissions-intensive subsector, captured alongside a wider set of more carbon-intensive activities such as healthcare and catering.
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