Statement: The Nature Conservancy responds to SBTi's Scope 3 Announcement

A jet lands in Zurich, Switzerland
Zurich, Switzerland An airplane lands on the runway in Zurich © Pascal Meier

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'The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has been following the announcement from the SBTi board that environmental attribute certificates (EACs) – including carbon credits – will be eligible for some portion of scope 3 progress as part of its Corporate Net Zero Standard. The science is unequivocal on the imperative of climate progress today. Yet most companies with net zero commitments are off track, especially on their scope 3 targets, leaving a critical gap in the world’s climate progress. TNC supports a role for high-quality carbon credits to help companies make scope 3 progress. In the coming months, SBTi will determine specific rules and guidance on how EACs can be used for this purpose. TNC advocates for a thoughtful decision-making process that prioritizes decarbonization and recognizes the need for high-quality carbon credits.

To meet global climate goals, the private sector should follow the mitigation hierarchy: first avoid emissions whenever possible; then reduce and remove emissions both within their operations and value chains to the furthest extent possible; and only then turn to high quality EACs to close the gap. Carbon credits must be used as a supplement to corporate science-based decarbonization strategies, never as a substitute. When used under the appropriate set of rules, carbon credits can act as a bridge to net zero and as a powerful tool for climate progress today, while companies continue their decarbonization work.

High-quality, high-integrity nature-based carbon credits are an essential piece of the puzzle: TNC science found that nature-based solutions can provide one-third of the emissions reductions and removals needed by 2030 to keep global temperature increases under 2 degrees Celsius. Many natural climate solutions offer benefits that extend beyond climate, yet they are significantly under-financed. Additionally, a scaled-up, high quality nature-based carbon market can be transformative for tens of millions of people across the Global South. To close the funding gap, we need companies to invest in these solutions, both within their own value chains and by purchasing high-quality nature-based carbon credits.

TNC looks forward to supporting SBTi’s review process and bringing our science and research to bear in ensuring EACs are used responsibly to accelerate climate action, and pave the way to a net zero future.'

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 70 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.