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The Road from Scope 3 to Net Zero

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Settling Climate Accounts


Twenty years ago, the Greenhouse Gas Protocol defined emissions Scopes as means to evaluate risks due to impending carbon pricing. Scope 1 counted direct emissions. Scope 2 covered emissions from purchased power. Scope 3 captured upstream and downstream supply chain emissions. In the context of risk management, stakeholders viewed Scope 3 as secondary, and optional. In the turn to Net Zero, Scope 3 has become a key tool for managers and activists. Double counting, internal and external boundary problems, financial engineering offsets, and off-balance sheet exposures confound the usefulness of Scope 3. Using Scope 3 as a tool for capital allocation poses additional challenges as effective use requires carbon pricing imposed by non-government actors, which pushes into uncharted legal territory.

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Correspondence to Marc Roston .

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Roston, M. (2021). The Road from Scope 3 to Net Zero. In: Heller, T., Seiger, A. (eds) Settling Climate Accounts. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-83649-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-83650-4

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