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New Atlantic Council Article Spotlights the Importance of Standards and Measurement Methods to Mitigating Climate Change, Fostering Sustainability

8/16/2023

Article co-authored by ANSI’s Mary Saunders

A newly published Atlantic Council article, co-authored by Mary Saunders, ANSI vice president of government relations and public policy and Geotech Center senior fellow, and Lloyd Whitman, Geotech Center senior director, explores the need for global consensus standards and measurement methods intended to address climate change effects.

Noting that carbon dioxide concentrations are now higher than at any time in at least two million years, the authors elaborate on widescale efforts in motion to mitigate climate change caused by emissions. Among the ongoing national efforts, the U.S. Department of Energy is investing over $1 billion for the first large-scale facilities in the United States to support carbon dioxide removal (CDR). Abroad, the European Commission has launched a 2030 Climate Target Plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by the year 2030. Negative emissions technologies around the globe to remove greenhouse gases are also part of the growing global efforts.

To that end, the authors examine the importance to make “real, measurable progress” in addressing the effects of climate change, noting: “Achieving climate neutrality and energy independence will require the accelerated diffusion of existing technologies, further cost reductions, as well as innovation in new technologies—all of which will need to be supported by globally-adopted standards and measurements.”

They emphasize that “high quality, standardized data” is imperative to show the effectiveness of the various carbon capture and carbon conversion and storage solutions utilized across the world by both governments and businesses.

The article also recognizes ongoing standardization efforts by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee TC 207, Environmental management, to address climate change effects and foster sustainability. ANSI, the U.S. member body to ISO, is the U.S. Secretariat of the ISO TC 207 Subcommittee 4, Environmental performance evaluation, which works on standardization in the field of environmental performance evaluation in support of sustainability. In other standardization efforts, ANSI member ASTM International has launched a portfolio of standards for steel decarbonization and sustainability standards.

To support the efforts to mitigate climate change and foster greater sustainability, the authors encourage greater collaboration among stakeholders, including those in government and the standards community.

Read the article, “Consensus standards and measurement methods will be critical to mitigating climate change and fostering sustainability.”

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