SBTi Updates Automaker Targets for 1.5°C

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by KnowESG
KnowESG_SBTi Updates Automaker Targets for 1.5°C
Image courtesy of SBTi

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has released an updated guide for land vehicles.

This update includes a new way for car companies to set goals for reducing emissions, aiming to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

For the first time, the guide tackles automakers' biggest source of pollution: emissions from the actual driving of their vehicles (known as "use phase"). It also encourages a commitment to phasing out gas and diesel cars and vans by 2035 in major markets.

“As a major emitter of greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants, automakers hold a pivotal role in driving the transformation to a net-zero economy and cleaning up the air in our cities,” said Alberto Carrillo Pineda, Chief Technical Officer and Co-Founder of the SBTi. “To address the climate crisis, it is critical that automakers adopt zero-emission vehicles at a pace consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5°C. The updated SBTi Land Transport Guidance reflects the scientific imperative for this critical transformation.”

Cars: A Big Part of the Problem

Cars and vans are a major source of climate change and air pollution. In 2022 alone, they used over a quarter of the world's oil and created roughly 10% of global CO2 emissions. Dirty vehicles also contribute to millions of deaths from air pollution each year.

The new SBTi guidance provides a revised method for automakers to set ambitious targets for reducing emissions from the vehicles they sell. This includes a pledge to support the Zero Emission Vehicles Declaration, aiming to phase out new gasoline and diesel cars by 2035 in leading markets, and globally by 2040.

Collaboration for a Cleaner Future

“Automakers who commit to the ZEV Declaration and set science-based targets catalyse a transformative shift in the global market, creating a competitive environment that fosters clean and innovative technology,” said Tim Dallmann, Secretariat of the Accelerating to Zero Coalition’s Steering Committee, which runs the ZEV Declaration, and International Partnerships Program Director at the International Council on Clean Transportation. “Signatories join a global community of stakeholders who are collectively working towards an emission-free transportation sector, keeping the goals of the Paris Agreement alive.”

What's Next?

The guide has been updated to include the 1.5-degree target-setting method and existing criteria for land transport, bringing automakers closer to a more rigorous SBTi standard.

To develop the new standard, SBTi will create an expert advisory group and hold public consultations later this year.

Keeping Up with the New Rules

Automakers with existing commitments nearing expiration have six months to submit updated targets under the new guidance. Existing targets will remain valid but are encouraged to be recalculated for greater ambition.

With the launch of this updated guide, SBTi is also resuming the validation of targets from automakers. This pause was due to the lack of a clear path for tackling "use phase" emissions, which is now addressed. All validated targets under the new guidance will remain valid under the future standard and go through the standard five-year review process.

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Source: SBTi

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