Welcoming COP28: how Standards help green the European Single Market

The 28th United Nations Climate Change (COP 28) is taking place from the 30 November to 12 December 2023. To welcome this opportunity to make progress in the global effort towards fighting climate change, CEN and CENELEC look at the standards that are contributing to a greener Single Market.

Standardization is a key tool to practically implement the Green Transition: standards provide commonly accepted definitions, create testing and measuring methodologies and build trust in new green technologies. Recognising the power of standards to achieve a greener Single Market, CEN and CENELEC have taken several actions in support of the green transition.


One such way to prevent negative environmental effects from products is through the promotion of the circular economy. A circular economy is based on the principles of eliminating waste through sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing, and recycling existing materials and products. CEN and CENELEC have recently established a new European Technical Committee CEN/TC 473 ‘Circular Economy’ to design standards that will make the circular economy a reality in the European Single Market.


Hydrogen has the potential to support decarbonization of many sectors within the European Single Market, such as heavy industries, transport, and power generation. CEN and CENELEC have long been committed to developing standards for hydrogen technologies. Technical Committees working on these standards include CEN-CLC/JTC 6 ‘Hydrogen in energy Systems’, and CEN/TC 268 ‘Cryogenic vessels and specific hydrogen technologies applications’. CEN and CENELEC also contributed to the European Commission’s Roadmap on hydrogen standardization.

Improving the way the European Single Market consumes energy will also play a vital role in lowering Europe’s Greenhouse Gas emissions. CEN and CENELEC are CLC/TC 13 ‘Electrical energy measurement and control’, CEN/CLC/JTC 14 ‘Energy management and energy efficiency in the framework of energy transition’, and CEN/TC 371 ‘Energy Performance of Buildings’ are examples of some of the CEN and CENELEC bodies meeting the demand for smarter and more efficient energy consumption through standardization.


Another promising area in the fight against climate change is green finance: the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive aims to create a European sustainability reporting system that provides credible and comparable information about companies’ activities on ESG to assist investors when making choices about sustainable investment. CEN and CENELEC, in cooperation with ISO and IEC, develop several standards that help companies improve their sustainability by providing comparable metrics and clear guidance for the implementation of sustainability procedures. Examples of relevant standards include EN ISO 14090:2019 ‘Adaptation to climate change - Principles, requirements and guidelines’; EN ISO 14064-1:2019 ‘Greenhouse gases - Part 1: Specification with guidance at the organization level for quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and removals’; and EN ISO 26000:2020 ‘Guidance on social responsibility’.


As the needs of the green transition evolve, so too will the ambition of the European Standardization system. CEN and CENELEC will continue to work towards a greener European Single Market, relying on the passion and knowledge of our many experts who share the vision of using standardization for net-zero, climate friendly Europe.


Stay tuned to learn more about the different roles standards play in the Single Market with our 30 Years of Standards Supporting the Single Market campaign, or join the conversation through the hashtag #SingleMarket30.



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