Upgraded Climate Accounting Methods from SCS Global Services
New methods are now available to help companies, countries, and NGOs non-governmental organisation more accurately track the impact of greenhouse gases (GJGs) and other climate changing emissions, announced Tobias Schultz, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Practitioner for California based SCS Global Services at the LCA XIII Conference in Orlando, Florida (USA)
Schultz stated: “Climate science has far outpace the metrics used by current climate accounting systems and added “WE are excited to report that methods have now been developed within the internationally recognised LCA framework to incorporate the latest scientific discoveries, and these provide results that can better inform decision and policy making”.
Today’s carbon registries and LCA studies are focused exclusively on calculating impacts for global climate change. However, the same emissions that are driving this change are also implicated in at least three other impact categories – Arctic climate change (occurring much more rapidly than global climate change), ocean warming, and ocean acidification. Schultz made clear: These impacts require their own accounting metrics to account for different environmental mechanisms at play.
Additionally, climate scientists now recognise the major role of black carbon and other compounds with short atmospheric lifetimes in climate change. Earlier this year, in the Journal of Geophysical Research, atmospheres, black carbon was identified as the second most important climate changing emission, just after carbon dioxide.
The newly updated climate accounting metrics include all four impact categories, incorporate all substances known to affect climate, and address regional factors related to short lived climate pollutants, including the source, the region, and fate, as well as transport of emissions. These metrics are described in a new draft standard, LEO-SCS-002, being developed under ANSI the American National Standards Institute process.
Schultz provided three case studies to highlight real life applications of the metrics, including increasing the value of cook stove improvement projects in carbon registries; evaluating the Arctic Council countries, and reassessing the relative carbon footprint of different energy sources in the US electricity grid.
SCS has been a global leader in third party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing and standards development for three decades. SCS programs span wide cross section of sectors, recognising exemplary performance in natural resource management, green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, retailing, and more.
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