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1.5 degrees: a scientific approach to reducing emissions
What does it mean to limit warming to 1.5°C? How can aklimate help your business get involved?

Introduction

In the Paris Agreement in 2015, 197 countries agreed to limit warming by the end of the century to “well-below 2°C above preindustrial levels” and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C. At the time of writing, we are at ~1.23°C increase vs 1880, as you can see on Sky's temperature tracker here.

Why 1.5°?

This target was chosen because at 1.5°C of warming, we may be able to escape the worst effects of climate change. Indeed, although it may seem small, half a degree can make a world of difference. For example, 2 degrees would mean three times as many people exposed to extreme heatwaves, the loss of all coral reefs, and 60 million more exposed to severe drought. Further differences are outlined in the WWF infographic below:

Source: WWF - OUR WARMING WORLD: HOW MUCH DIFFERENCE WILL HALF-A-DEGREE REALLY MAKE?

If we are going to remain within the 'safe' (from a relative standpoint) 1.5°C limit, we therefore have a very limited amount of greenhouse gases, commonly called the 'carbon budget', that we can emit globally, so we must begin decarbonising now. The Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTI) has done the hard work to translate this destination into quantified climate targets for business.

In brief, to limit warming to 1.5°C, businesses must reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 50% (vs. 2018 emissions) by 2030. This may seem daunting, but it is certainly achievable with commitment and effort.

What does this mean for your business?

For small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), the task is slightly different than for large corporates. According to SBTI, SMEs must:

  1. Reduce Scopes 1 & 2 emissions (from energy and company vehicles) by 50% (vs. 2018)
  2. Reduce Scope 3 emissions (from the rest of the value chain), but by no specified amount
  3. Report on all scopes each year

The justification for this is that SMEs have more limited resources to influence their supply chains. These goals therefore make it possible for businesses of all sizes to have real climate impact. What's more, if every business takes its Scopes 1 & 2 emissions to net zero, then there are no Scope 3 emissions.

aklimate's 1.5°C Reduction Pathway

At aklimate, we are enabling businesses of all sizes to join the movement to limit global warming, with our 1.5°C Reduction Pathway, with the following benefits:

  • Measure: define your baseline emissions with our Scopes 1 - 3 carbon footprint analysis.
  • Certify: receive certification that you're committed to a 1.5°C reduction pathway, along with brand assets to use in your facilities, on your website and more.
  • Emission breakdown: get a detailed breakdown of where your emissions come from, so you can make the best decisions for your business and for the planet.
  • 1.5°C reduction pathway: define the reduction pathway that makes sense for your business, and find out the initiatives you can take to get there.
  • 1:1 expert advice: experts will take you through your emissions breakdown and reduction pathway, and answers any questions you might have along the way.
  • Optional SBTI accreditation: At your request, we can prepare an application to be accredited with SBTI for your reduction pathway.

References:

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