Home » Climate label SBTI: Criticism of plans to relax the requirements – News

Climate label SBTI: Criticism of plans to relax the requirements – News

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Climate label SBTI: Criticism of plans to relax the requirements – News


The board of SBTI wants to loosen the requirements for companies’ CO₂ targets – and thereby puts the label at risk.

It’s all about this: Companies can apply for a label to prove that their climate protection efforts are serious – the so-called Science Based Targets Initiative label (SBTI). But now there is criticism that this label in particular wants to practice greenwashing. There is a private organization behind the label – because there is no such label from the state that sets and monitors standards for serious climate promises made by companies.

This is what SBTI does: The label monitors a company’s climate goals – and the measures it takes to achieve them. SBTI also evaluates the company’s progress. Around 5,000 companies worldwide take part in SBTI. There are around 200 companies from Switzerland – these include ABB, Nestlé and Swisscom. An important donor to the private company SBTI is the foundation of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

It would be a big problem if the label lost its previously reputable image in the corporate world.

The critic: At the beginning of the week, the board of SBTI decided that companies could use certificates from the voluntary compensation market for their indirect CO₂ emissions, i.e. for the greenhouse gases that arise along their supply chain. They should be able to purchase certificates from reforestation or forest protection projects for these greenhouse gas emissions that are not directly caused by themselves. But SBTI employees are now criticizing this heavily: they fear that polluters could be encouraged to compensate for their emissions cheaply instead of reducing them.

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Possible consequences for SBTI: Observers fear that this crisis of trust could be threatening for the SBTI company itself. “It would be a big problem if the label lost its previously serious image in the corporate world,” says SRF business editor Klaus Ammann, who deals with climate issues. SBTI has significantly improved transparency in this area in recent years. And there is no state alternative to SBTI.

Problem credibility: CO₂ compensation is always in the headlines. The problem: There is literally everything – from very reputable companies to very dubious representatives. The area of ​​forest protection in particular has been criticized repeatedly recently – because it is very difficult to measure the actual impact of a specific project. On the other hand, there are also very good compensation projects. For example, when CO₂ is bound in recycled concrete. This is measurable, and the CO₂ remains bound in the concrete for a long time.

The controversial example of South Pole

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The Swiss CO₂ compensation company South Pole came under pressure last year and ultimately had to abandon a forest project in Zimbabwe. South Pole wanted to protect a huge area of ​​forest there from deforestation and thus prevent large CO₂ emissions. But suddenly it was unclear whether the forest should have been cleared at all if South Pole hadn’t shown up. It was also unclear how long the forest in question would actually have been protected from clearing.

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