Building resilience and increasing sustainability
Scientists believe that human activity since the mid-20th century is causing the rapid warming of the Earth's climate system. This is expected to increase the frequency of extreme weather events, with an ever-increasing number of people affected by floods, storms, heatwaves and droughts.
IEC Standards, together with testing and certification, help countries and industries to adopt more sustainable technologies. They also help strengthen the disaster resilience of infrastructure, reducing disaster risks, accelerating recovery and overall impact.
Efficient use of resources
IEC International Standards are key in supporting organizations to achieve a minimal impact on the environment and optimal use of resources. A shift towards an economic model that introduces continual cycles of recovery and restoration of products and materials, known as a circular economy, is gaining momentum and will require standards. The IEC has published several standards that address material efficiency and technical committees are also considering issues such as safety and security requirements given the increased number of ‘life-times’ for products and parts through product reuse and the utilization of used components and recycled content.
IEC International Standards also address the substances and processes used in the manufacture of electrotechnical equipment and systems. Commonly referred to as "hazardous substances" these are elements or compounds which can have serious consequences on the environment or human well-being. IEC expertise is being used by government regulatory authorities around the world to ensure that the optimal solutions are put in place to manage these substances.
The IEC has a dedicated advisory committee on environmental aspects (ACEA) which coordinates and guides the IEC's efforts to ensure that IEC International Standards do not include specifications which would harm the environment. In addition, Technical Committee 111 is dedicated specifically to writing International Standards on the environmental aspects of electrotechnology.
Using renewable sources
Large-scale use of renewable energy can help reduce dependency on fossil fuels, combat global warming and raise the living standards of people in developing countries. IEC International Standards and Conformity Assessment Systems provide a foundation for ensuring the safety and performance of these systems, promote international trade of uniform high-quality products and support the transfer of expertise from traditional energy systems.
The IEC has several technical committees working in the field of renewable and clean energies, looking at areas such as hydropower, ocean power, solar energy, wind turbines, fuel cell technologies and nuclear instrumentation.
Supporting the work of COP
The COP summit brings parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The IEC offers a global institutional framework that allows for the cooperation of many thousand experts from more than 170 countries. They share their know-how and expertise to build the technical foundation that allows governments to implement their climate policies and manufacturers to build consistently safe, sustainable and interoperable products and systems.
IEC work makes it easier for utilities to build and maintain resilient electrical grids which can better withstand extreme weather events. This enables governments to ensure continuous services such as lighting, water sanitation, food processing, medical services or transportation during storms, forest fires and floods. It also provides the framework for the construction and use of renewable energy systems and promotes the use of energy-efficient processes and technologies, which in turn help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It also paves the way for greener modes of transport, prepares the stage for the circular economy and lays the ground for new environment preserving technologies in various industries, such as healthcare, consumer electronics or transport.
Collaboration is key
Together with ISO, the IEC has developed a Climate action kit.
It presents case studies on how standards can support public policies and influence climate change initiatives.
The IEC is working with ISO and other organizations to co‐create a system of legislative rules, stakeholder‐led International Standards and accredited Conformity Assessment Systems. The idea is to accelerate policy outcomes by building consensus across government, regulators, industry and all parties involved in the process. The IEC pledges to continue to provide effective solutions to combat climate change and mitigate its consequences, by publishing consensus-based International Standards and providing certification by the members of the IEC Conformity Assessment Systems.
In this context, the IEC also supports the objectives of the ISO London Declaration regarding climate commitments.
Case studies Climate action kit
The IEC and ISO Climate action kit is designed to assist policy makers in their commitment to reducing net greenhouse gas emissions, at COP26 and beyond. It presents case studies on how standards can support public policies and influence climate change initiatives.
How Australia accelerates its marine energy programme
Decarbonising the electricity sector by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2040
The initiatives of the Kingdom of Bahrain to counter climate change impacts
IEC Standards help to achieve climate policy goals – Bangladesh Perspective
Chinese green product labels and standards fitting into the global market
Helping Denmark achieve their model for clean energy
Hazardous substances declaration and control – in line with regulations
Germany does it efficiently
GSO contribution to carbon foot-print reduction
Italian electrical systems and climate changes: new approach for the resilience of the systems
New IEC Standard addresses GHG emissions and UN SDG 13
IEC Standards in Jordanian Regulations
How Rep. of Korea increases its solar photovoltaic energy use
Montenegrin model and wind energy generation systems
Electrification of the Norwegian shipping fleet
Saudi Energy Efficiency Labels help reduce carbon emissions