IEMA, live from COP23, says urgent action is required to reduce carbon emissions and boost resilience through international standards and accreditation

Governments must look to international standards in support of the new Paris Climate Accord as part of the COP23 talks in Bonn. This is to ensure businesses across the globe can play their part in reducing carbon emissions and changing climate resilience.

Speaking today at the “Adapting to Climate Change - Developments in International and European Standards & Accreditation” event at the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP23) climate talks in Bonn, Germany, IEMA’s Chief Policy Advisor Martin Baxter said international business and product standards could prove critical in delivering the Paris Accord.

COP23 is a real and necessary opportunity to catalyse action on climate change and ensure that the commitments made in Paris two years ago can be delivered. In addition to state level action, international standards can be instrumental for ‘non-state’ actors and in supporting business engagement in delivering emissions reductions and adapting to a changing climate, so we are calling on the delegates here in Bonn to build on their positive impact”, said Baxter ahead of his speech in Bonn.

There are a range of standards already being used where climate adaptation can be integrated into them. The recent changes to ISO 14001 show this can be done, providing support to hundreds of thousands of organisations across the globe to become more resilient to a changing climate,” he continued.

World leaders, nominated delegates and other non-state actors are currently gathered in the Deutsche Post DHL Group Post Tower venue to forge a way forward for the seminal Paris Accord and the international rules of play. IEMA’s Martin Baxter and Policy Lead Nick Blyth are present at the talks, and speaking as part of an 8-strong line-up of presenters at today’s IEMA, IAF, ISO and CEN and CENELEC COP 23 EU pavilion event.

Nick Blyth also commented ahead of his speech on the role and potential of international standards, saying that it is critical that COP23 delivers outcomes but not just at the state level: “Climate change is urgent and our response needs to extend across society. Governments, businesses, professions, NGOs and standards bodies must collaborate and find the pathways for change. COP23 offers a critical opportunity for this endeavour.”