Glossary term

Near-Term Science-Based Targets

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Definition 1

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

Definition 2

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

  • 95% of [an organisation/ a Project]'s scope 1 and 2 emissions; [and
  • 67% of its scope 3 emissions.]

Drafting notes and guidance

1.5°C pathways

The Paris Agreement requires countries to pursue efforts to limit the increase in global temperature to 1.5°C. 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 1.5°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). See TCLP's glossary term 1.5°C Aligned.

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, potentially long-lasting and irreversible. As such, contract parties must consider only pathways that achieve 1.5°C 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; and
  • calculating targets.

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

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