(Bloomberg)—Plans touted by the chief executives of the world’s biggest companies will only lead to a 40% reduction in average carbon emissions by mid-century, falling far short of the net-zero goal needed to avoid catastrophic warming, according to a fresh analysis by the NewClimate Institute and Carbon Market Watch.
The nonprofits looked at 25 of the world’s biggest companies that have pledged “some form” of zero emissions target, and found that just three “clearly commit to deep decarbonization of over 90% of their full value chain” by stated deadlines.
What’s more, near-term targets for 2030 “fall well short of the ambition required to align with the internationally agreed goals of the Paris Agreement and avoid the most damaging effects of climate change,” the organizations said. They’re urging governments to crack down on companies that make exaggerated net-zero claims, and to ban the use of non-permanent carbon sinks like forests to offset emissions.
Galvanized by pressure from stakeholders, the pandemic and extreme floods and fires, companies are coming out almost daily with new promises to address climate change. But global regulatory frameworks for testing proposals and holding companies to account remain underdeveloped.
NewClimate Institute and Carbon Market Watch said they are launching a Corporate Climate Responsibility Monitor to check the soundness of climate pledges amid a “general lack of regulatory oversight at national and sectoral levels.”
What the study found…
- The three companies that have clear, “deep” decarbonization plans are AP Moller-Maersk A/S, Vodafone Group Plc and Deutsche Telekom AG
- At least five commit to reducing emissions by less than 15%, and often exclude so-called upstream or downstream emissions
- 12 companies didn’t accompany pledges with any specific emission reduction commitments for their target year
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