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Finance & Investment
New Carbon Accounting Alliance Seeks Industry Standardization, Regulation to Support Net-Zero Transition

The launch includes a call to action for organizations worldwide to use the tools of carbon accounting to drive transition plans and direct emission reductions.

Climate-action solutions providers Planet Mark and ClimatePartner have joined forces to launch the Carbon Accounting Alliance (CAA) — to enable greater oversight and professionalization of carbon accounting, to accelerate the effectiveness of the industry.

The CAA is a first-of-its-kind coalition of organizations that support the measurement and reporting of carbon emissions at scale. It includes software companies, consultancies, auditors, climate-research organizations and certifying bodies that have come together to collaborate on solving challenges faced by the industry, to share best practices and promote the development of robust standards. Collectively, CAA Members measure the GHG emissions of 23,000+ organizations, with more than 587 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) measured and more than 6 million tCO2e reductions achieved from baselines.

Despite important strides in standardizing approaches for measuring GHG emissions, the CAA recognizes that the GHG Protocol, science-based targets, ISO and PAS standards still leave room for interpretation when it comes to certain methodologies, rules and emission-factor database choices. The Alliance also recognizes the need for formal qualifications to be required across jurisdictions to professionalize and create consistency in carbon-accounting services provided.

“I’m thrilled to announce the launch of the Carbon Accounting Alliance and to bring together leading companies across the industry to help organizations on their net-zero journeys,” said Andrew Griffiths, Director of Policy & Partnerships at Planet Mark and co-founder of the CAA. “To efficiently tackle the climate crisis, we need to work through a unified voice, and this Alliance has created a mechanism to do just that.”

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The CAA aims to improve support for the global net-zero transition through a commitment to actively engage industry, policymakers, regulators and other international bodies; as well as collaborating and sharing learnings between companies operating in the carbon-accounting industry. This includes a call to action for organizations worldwide to use the tools of carbon accounting to drive transition plans and direct emission reductions. CAA Members recognize that measurement and reporting alone will not solve the climate crisis; it must be coupled with meaningful action.

In addition to this, the Alliance will campaign to ensure carbon accounting is a key feature of governments’ green skills and jobs policies to meet growing demands for the industry’s services — critical to the success of a low-carbon economy, as sustainability leaders at some of the world’s largest companies recently reported the scarcity of talent trained around the challenges of climate change at both operations and board level to be one of the largest barriers to achieving their net-zero targets.

Recently, the CAA engaged the UK government’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ), asking to set a policy-driven timeline and deadline for businesses to report at least Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions on an annual basis to deliver emissions transparency. To support this, the CAA is calling for mandatory sharing of energy, water and waste data between commercial landlords and tenants — the lack of which is a common barrier to measurement.

The Alliance is also pushing for education and training to focus on carbon-accounting skills to fill crucial demand gaps from businesses for carbon measurement, reductions and strategy — a gap highlighted by a recent joint report by Persefoni and the Financial Education and Research Foundation; and one threatening to stymie many companies in the lead-up to 2024, when the first wave of companies will be required to disclose their ESG impacts under the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).

The Alliance welcomes carbon-accounting bodies working across the sector that are passionate about positive impact, knowledgeable and share the values of respect and openness to help accelerate the transition to a fairer, kinder and regenerative world.

“I believe that it’s collaboration, not competition, that will solve this climate crisis,” said Emilien Hoet, Managing Director at ClimatePartner and co-founder of the CAA. “After continuously advising clients to collaborate in their industry, it only seemed right that I walk the talk. My hope is that the CAA will provide the forum to share challenges and learnings, and positively influence policy, to move faster with collective impact.”