Forest, Land and Agriculture (FLAG)
Guidance for land-intensive sectors
Why take action?
The forest, land and agriculture sector is one of the most affected by the impacts of climate change. But it is also a significant source of emissions. It represents nearly a quarter of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions - the largest emitting sector after energy.
To keep 1.5°C within reach, tackle food crisis risks and enable the transformation to a global net-zero future, cutting land related emissions is paramount.Many companies with land-intensive operations have committed or set targets through the SBTi. Many are also reporting their GHG emissions publicly. However, few account for land-based emissions or removals in their climate targets or disclosures. A key barrier was the lack of available guidance and methods - until now.
A new methodology
The Forest, Land and Agriculture Science-Based Target-Setting Guidance is the world’s first framework for companies in land-intensive sectors to set science-based targets that include land-based emissions reductions and removals.
The SBTi FLAG Guidance offers a common, robust, science-based understanding on how much and how quickly a company needs to cut its land-related emissions in line with the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
Key requirements of the SBTi FLAG Guidance
- Set near-term FLAG science-based targets: 5-10 year emission reduction targets in line with limiting warming to 1.5°C.
- Account for removals in near-term FLAG science-based targets: Biogenic CO2 removals include things like restoring natural ecosystems, improving forest management practices, deploying silvopasture, and enhancing soil carbon sequestration on pasture and farmland. Read more on how the FLAG pathways address carbon removals here.
- Set long-term FLAG science-based targets: Companies with significant activities in the land and agriculture sectors will reduce at least 72% of emissions by no later than 2050. They should use the SBTi Net-Zero Standard to set long-term FLAG science-based targets.
- Zero deforestation targets must be set for no later than 2025: In line with the Accountability Framework initiative (AFi). Read more on how this guidance accounts for land-use change emissions here.
- Set science-based targets for fossil emissions: Businesses with land-based emissions are required to set FLAG science-based targets FLAG science-based targets AND energy/industry science-based targets, since all companies produce fossil emissions.
WATCH: Introducing the FLAG guidance - Martha Stevenson
Commit to set FLAG science-based targets now.
The next few years are critical in the fight against climate change. The SBTi FLAG Guidance gives companies the opportunity to cut emissions and enhance sinks at the pace required to keep the 1.5°C goal within reach.
Take the lead and commit to setting FLAG science-based targets today.
Join the FLAG mailing list for updates on the guidance and future developments.
The project was completed in September 2022.
Browse more sector guidance
If your sector is not listed here, you can still set a science-based target using our methods and resources. Consult the step-by-step guide to get started.