Governing Net Zero: assessing convergence and gaps in the voluntary standards and guidelines landscape

Jun 14, 2024

Net-zero governance instruments demonstrate increasing convergence around key issues, but major gaps remain to ensure emissions reduction targets and plans are urgent, rigorous and effective. Net zero pledges have proliferated in recent years, and now cover 92% of global GDP. Though these net-zero commitments are welcome, they must be accompanied by a robust governance system to ensure that promises translate into action. The voluntary governance landscape has played a critical role in galvanising ambition, identifying best practice and aligning actors’ behaviour towards net zero. The important role of voluntary net-zero governance has been filled by a wide array of resources and initiatives. These can provide a robust baseline for future policy and regulatory interventions, which are essential to level the playing field and provide clear and fair ground rules for all.

To provide clarity on the voluntary governance landscape, Oxford Net Zero mapped key criteria across resources in 2022, tracing common and emerging good practice across this landscape. In this 2024 edition, we review 37 voluntary governance instruments used internationally by non-state actors to guide net-zero action. We assess these instruments against almost 60 criteria that explore the integrity of net-zero voluntary governance.

Publication details
Theme(s)
Net zero & sustainable development The meaning of net zero
Type(s)
Report
Author(s)
Axelsson, Kaya Becker, Matilda McGivern, Alexis
Year(s)
2024

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