Glossary term

Near-Term Science-Based Targets

Last Updated:

Number of definitions:


Definition 1

Near-Term Science-Based Target means [an organisation OR a project]'s target to reduce Scope 1, 2 and 3 Emissions by [2025 OR 2030] that has been validated by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi).

Definition 2

Near-Term Science-Based Target  means [an organisation OR a Project]'s target by [2025 OR 2030] to reduce its Scope 1, 2 and 3 Emissions in line with 1.5C pathways that have little to no overshoot. It covers at least:

  • 95 (ninety-five) percent of [an organisation OR a Project]'s scope 1 and 2 emissions [.] [and
  • 67 (sixty-seven) percent of its scope 3 emissions.]

Drafting notes and guidance

1.5 Celsius (1.5C) pathways

The Paris Agreement requires countries to pursue efforts to limit the increase in global temperature to 1.5C. To achieve this, contract parties must ensure that their climate targets and mitigation measures align with pathways that predict a global temperature increase of a maximum of 1.5C 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). See TCLP's glossary term 1.5C Aligned.

Little to no overshoot

There are pathways that achieve the 1.5C goal by 2100 by exceeding this temperature first (over 0.1 percent) and then reaching 1.5C in 2100. This occurs if emissions reductions are delayed and removals are relied upon later. The IPCC Special Report on 1.5C shows that the risks of a high overshoot on natural and human systems are immense, potentially long-lasting and irreversible. As such, contract parties must consider only pathways that achieve 1.5C by 2100 that have no or little overshoot.

Science Based Targets initiative

The Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) provides companies with guidance and recommendations on how to set science-based net-zero targets. The SBTi recommends a five-step approach to setting a near-term science-based target. This includes:

  • selecting a base year
  • calculating emissions
  • setting target boundaries
  • choosing a target year
  • calculating targets.

Near-term science-based targets must cover at least 95 percent of scope 1 and 2 emissions. Where scope 3 emissions are at least 40 percent of total scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, near-term science-based targets must cover 67 percent of scope 3 emissions. See the SBTi Corporate Net-Zero Standard for further information.

Is this page useful?