Quality infrastructure for effective climate protection
A functioning, internationally harmonised quality infrastructure (QI) is an important prerequisite for climate protection. "We can only successfully lead the fight against climate change in an international alliance. Within the framework of the German G7 Presidency, the BMWK is therefore placing the role of standardisation and QI for climate protection in the international focus," said Dr Franziska Brantner, Parliamentary State Secretary at the BMWK at the German Standardisation Panel 2022.
The fight against climate change must be fought together
In order to discuss standardisation and QI in an international context with the G7 partners, the BMWK is organising the G7 conference "Standardisation - a strategic instrument for climate protection and the global digital energy transition" on 7 September 2022. Representatives of governments, industry, standardisation organisations, universities and civil society from the G7 countries will discuss the importance of standardisation and QI for effective climate protection in Berlin and online.
Thanks to the QI system, it is possible to assess the impact of services and products on our climate. Conformity assessment bodies test and certify in fields such as energy efficiency, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energies. Accreditation ensures that conformity assessment bodies have the required expertise. Metrology guarantees reliable and globally comparable measurements, for example of important climate variables such as air and water quality.
QI is thus a basic prerequisite for implementing the Paris Climate Agreement and being able to track progress or backlogs.
Standards help companies to reduce their carbon footprint
When can products be described as recyclable, when as energy-saving? Standardisation is a central pillar of QI. It provides clarity and comparability – both for consumers and for companies. Standards offer great support for corporate climate management. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has developed multiple standards to help companies improve their carbon footprint.
The most important standard for environmental management is ISO 14001. The international standard defines requirements for an environmental management system. With the help of such a system, an organisation can achieve concrete environmental goals. ISO has also issued standards on greenhouse gas accounting. Companies can verify their corporate carbon footprint according to ISO 14064-1. It is additionally possible to determine the carbon footprint of products or services according to ISO 14067. This takes all greenhouse gas emissions caused by a product throughout its entire life cycle into account.
Energy management systems (EnMS) can also significantly contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions – as specified in the internationally established ISO 50001 standard. Many organisations introduce EnMS to reduce their energy consumption and increase energy efficiency.
Accredited conformity assessment enables emissions trading
The authenticity of collected data is crucial to identify whether climate targets are being met. Verified reports serve, for example, as the basis for the European emissions trading system (EU ETS). EU ETS is an important instrument for the efficient reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Companies in certain industries must record their greenhouse gas emissions, submit an annual emissions report and purchase CO₂ emission certificates. Inspection bodies verify and assess the conformity of these emission reports. They previously had to prove their technical competence to an accreditation body. It is only through this system of accreditation and conformity assessment that European emissions trading becomes operational.
Reliable measurement results strengthen confidence in climate action
Metrology as an important pillar of QI minimises measurement inaccuracies and enables globally comparable measurement results. Metrological testing and calibrations of sensors are essential prerequisites for data collection on climate change. Reliable measurements help, to better understand climate change and improve trust in necessary measures to reach climate targets.
International agreements set clear targets - e. g. the rate at which industrialised countries should reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Whether these targets are complied with can only be verified with precise and globally comparable measurement results.
The Global Project Quality Infrastructure (GPQI) promotes climate protection by bringing together governments and experts from the public and private sector – thus enabling cooperation on important topics, such as renewable energy.