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Dr Jeff Warburton of Durham University researching erosion patterns in Cumbria, UK © Global Warming Images / WWF

Dr Jeff Warburton of Durham University researching erosion patterns in Cumbria, UK © Global Warming Images / WWF

Science-based targets

Reducing Australia's greenhouse gas emissions is a shared responsibility. It's not the domain of individuals or communities, governments or even environmental organisations, but the whole of society. And enlisting the corporate sector is the key to success.

Science Based Targets is a global initiative supported by WWF, CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project) and the UN Global Compact (UNGC). In Australia, it's engaging some of our heaviest hitters on climate action and showing them the benefits of setting targets consistent with the emissions reductions required to limit global warming to below 2°C, and preferably 1.5°C.

By 2018, we hope that such science-based targets have become standard business practice. It's the only way we're going to be able to close the emissions gap between where we are now and where we need to be before the middle of the century.

More than 174 companies, including global enterprises such as Dell, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Procter & Gamble, Sony, Nestlé, Unilever, the Kellogg Company and Pfizer Company, have joined a number of Australian organisations to commit to emissions reduction targets. Many more are about to follow suit.

Our work to bring climate action into the world's boardrooms will continue over the next few years with the support of the We Mean Business Coalition that is working towards a net-zero carbon goal by 2050.

What we're doing

Why it matters 

Australia's commitment to the Paris Agreement (at COP 21) and the global goal contained within it, to limit warming to well below 2°C and possibly 1.5°C, means that countries are required to achieve net-zero emissions before the end of the century. Developed countries like Australia will need to do so well before 2050, largely through the help of businesses and other institutions.

Setting science-based emissions reduction targets and making them standard business practice will ensure that climate action is embedded in business and government sectors. Our strategy has three pillars:

1. Reducing barriers to the adoption of science-based targets through the provision of tools, guidance, communications materials, learning opportunities and technical support.

2. Institutionalising the adoption of science-based targets, enabling them to become a part of companies' yearly reporting practice and the data infrastructure for institutional investors.

3. Creating a critical mass, by engaging with influential, high-profile companies with significant emissions footprints and promoting their efforts to encourage broader corporate adoption.

Heliostats solar thermal tower in Andalucia, Spain © Global Warming Images / WWF

What you can do to help

For more information please go to the Science Based Targets website where you will find case studies and a technical advisory group. Come and join our Community of Practice (coming soon).

For more information about We Mean Business commitments go to their website.

Alternatively contact:
Monica Richter,, +61 (0)2 8228 6823

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