In our last update on GHG Protocol’s forthcoming Land Sector and Removals Guidance, we shared the topline themes that emerged from the feedback provided by pilot testers and review group members. Over the past few months, the Land Sector and Removals team has crystalized this feedback into 11 key topics. Throughout the summer, 11 sub-groups will be convened to resolve the questions related to these topics:
- Biogenic Emissions
- Data & Methods
- Geologic Storage & Technological CO2 Removals
- Land Boundary & Traceability
- Land Emissions & Removals – Forestry
- Land Emissions & Removals – Croplands
- Land Use Change & Land Tracking
- Product Storage
- Removals & Permanence
- Scope 2 & Hydropower
At this stage in the Land Sector and Removals Guidance development process, the Technical Working Group and participation in subgroup discussions is closed. The subgroup composition was determined based on the feedback received, to enrich discussions and ensure a diversity of perspectives on the selected topics that will be addressed. When assigning Technical Working Group members to each subgroup, GHG Protocol considers organizational diversity (including representatives from corporations, academia, research institutions, government, non-profit organizations/civil society, and multilateral organizations), regional diversity, with a preference for increased representation from the Global South, and gender diversity. Each organization affiliated with the Technical Working Group may only have one representative on each subgroup.
Due to the number of topics needing to be addressed by the Technical Working Group, and the interconnectedness between topics, GHG Protocol has updated the timeline for the publication of the final Land Sector and Removals Guidance. The final guidance is now anticipated to be published in mid 2024.
This fall, the GHG Protocol will host an in-person workshop to produce the final set of proposals for the review of the Advisory Committee. The following topics were selected for the in-person workshop due to the overlap in challenges and the need for cross-cutting discussions: Land Boundary & Traceability, Land Emissions & Removals – Forestry, Land Emissions & Removals – Croplands, Land Use Change & Land Tracking, Product Storage, and Removals & Permanence. GHG Protocol will be following up with subscribers with a summary of the in-person workshop via email. If you’d like to receive email updates from GHG Protocol, we encourage you to subscribe here.
The diagram below details the full process for the development of the Land Sector and Removals Guidance.
Collaboration with SBTi FLAG
Throughout this process, GHG Protocol has been working closely with the Science Based Targets initiative on the relationship between the Land Sector and Removals Guidance and SBTi’s Forest, Land, and Agriculture Guidance (FLAG). With the change in the Land Sector and Removals Guidance publication timeline, the SBTi is announcing that companies with existing science-based targets must add a FLAG target within six months after the release of the final version of the GHG Protocol Land Sector and Removals Guidance. Companies setting their first science-based target, or updating their existing science-based target after Apr 30, 2023, must set a FLAG target upon (re)submission.
Companies setting FLAG targets after the release of the final version of the GHG Protocol Land Sector and Removals Guidance will still be expected to commit to “no-deforestation” with a target date no later than Dec 31, 2025. This requirement will remain and companies are encouraged to continue to prioritize stopping deforestation and conversion in their supply chains.