1.5°C Aligned means that the level of ambition of [the organisation’s] targets to reduce GHG Emissions and its Climate Change Mitigation Measures are consistent with achieving the goal in Article 2.1(a) of the Paris Agreement to pursue efforts to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels with little to no overshoot.
1.5°C Aligned means that [the organisation’s] targets to reduce GHG Emissions and Climate Change Mitigation Measures are aligned with scenarios that yield a long-term global warming outcome of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels [with [60%] probability and [no/ less than 0.1%] overshoot].
1.5°C aligned targets are the most common choice for businesses. They represent 66% of all submissions to the Science Based Targets initiative ( SBTi ) in 2021.
The Paris Agreement requires countries to pursue efforts to limit the increase in global temperature to 1.5°C. To achieve this, contract parties need to ensure that their climate targets and mitigation measures align with pathways that predict a global temperature increase of a maximum of 1.5°C by 2100, with little to no overshoot. The ‘pathways’ referred to here are, for example, the pathways examined by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change ( IPCC ).
A climate target will be 1.5°C aligned if the company setting the target is able to rapidly reduce its emissions in a manner that meets eligible 1.5°C pathways. Contract parties may want to consider using standards where an independent body will verify that their targets are 1.5°C aligned. An example is the SBTi Net-Zero Standard.
Little to no overshoot
There are pathways that achieve the 1.5°C goal by 2100 by exceeding this temperature first (over 0.1%) and then reaching 1.5°C in 2100. This occurs if emissions reductions are delayed and removals are relied upon later. The IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C shows that the risks of a high overshoot on natural and human systems are immense and potentially long-lasting and irreversible. As such, contract parties should only consider pathways that achieve 1.5°C by 2100 that have no or little overshoot.
1.5°C Aligned or Paris Aligned?
This definition is very similar to TCLP’s glossary term Paris Aligned. While these terms are often used interchangeably, there are clear distinctions between the two.
TCLP glossary term Paris Aligned refers to the three goals in Articles 2.1 and 4.1 of the Paris Agreement:
- temperature goal;
- adaptation and mitigation goal; and
- financial flow goal.
The goals are also known as the climate objectives.
Article 2(1)(a) contains two temperature goals:
- holding the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C; and
- pursuing efforts to limit that increase to 1.5°C.
By contrast, 1.5°C Aligned refers only to the second temperature goal in Article 2(1)(a).
To be unambiguous about which temperature goal in the Paris Agreement the parties are aligning their targets and climate change mitigation measures to, TCLP recommends using 1.5°C Aligned rather than Paris Aligned.
This definition is aligned with the Race to Zero Lexicon.
Any contract where the parties want to align their targets and climate change mitigation measures with an eligible 1.5°C pathway.
IPCC, 2018: Annex I: Glossary in IPCC report ‘Global Warming of 1.5°C. An IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty’