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Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)

Context

  • The SBTi’s recent declaration of allowing companies to utilize carbon offsets to fulfill their climate commitments has gathered widespread criticism.

About

  • The Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) is a corporate climate action organization that enables companies and financial institutions worldwide to play their part in combating the climate crisis.
  • SBTi performs various functions such as;
  • Defines and promotes best practices in emissions reductions and net-zero targets in line with climate science.
  • Develops standards, tools, and guidance to enable companies and financial institutions to set science-based targets in line with the latest climate science.
  • Through its validation services arm, it assesses and validates companies’ and financial institutions’ targets.

What is a carbon offset?

  • A carbon offset refers to a way by which organizations or individuals can cut down on their carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere.
  • These reductions are achieved through projects that either capture and store carbon or prevent emissions from occurring in the first place, such as through renewable energy projects, reforestation initiatives, and methane capture from landfills.
  • Companies or individuals purchase carbon offsets to compensate for their carbon emissions, thereby “offsetting” their environmental impact and contributing to climate change mitigation efforts.