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    A Conversation on Scope 3 Accounting and Target Setting with World Resources Institute

    September 21, 2023

    Editor’s Note: For Climate Week 2023, we are launching a series of conversations with thought leaders across science and policy who are working to make agriculture more sustainable.

    The latest climate model scenarios show that all pathways that limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C (with little or no overshoot) require carbon removal and emissions reductions. The amount ultimately needed will depend on how quickly we can reduce emissions in the near term.

    Agriculture is both a large source of global emissions as well as an immediate, scalable and affordable solution that can remove and abate billions of tons of emissions from the atmosphere. But exactly how companies that have agriculture in their value chain can play a role in reducing their carbon footprint has been challenging. Until a year ago, there was limited guidance for calculating comprehensive greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories and tracking progress over time in land-based value chains.

    In 2022, the release of two long-anticipated guidance documents started to clear up the ambiguities. These documents came in the form of a draft corporate GHG inventory accounting guidance from the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHGP) and a new target setting guidance from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), two independent, multi-stakeholder organizations which develop the frameworks for companies to assess their impact and set their climate ambition. (Read "Making Sense of Scope 3 Emissions Targets and Guidance.")

    Now, GHGP is actively working on finalizing their Land Sector and Removals Guidance, anticipated in summer 2024. The new guidance will be designed to create more consistency and transparency in the way companies quantify and report GHG emissions and removals from land use, land use change, bioenergy and carbon removal technologies and track progress toward GHG mitigation goals, following a credible approach.

    Indigo has been following the development of this guidance closely, submitting our feedback to GHGP’s public comment processes and contributing to technical working groups engaging deeply on specific topics under revision for the final guidance.

    Here, Matt Ramlow, who has been working on the GHGP team at World Resources Institute to develop the Land Sector and Removals Guidance, talks about bringing diverse stakeholders together around best practices in GHG accounting.