Climate action towards decarbonisation goal does not match words. A report titled "The Corporate Climate Responsibility Monitor" exposes the climate action faultlines.
Despite net-zero pledges made by some of the world’s largest corporations that speak up for efforts to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 36 per cent, only five of 24 companies’ actions represent a commitment to deep decarbonisation in reality.
Climate pledges for 2030 fall well short of the economy-wide emission reductions required to stay below the 1.5°C temperature limit.
A recent study conducted by Carbon Market Watch and the NewClimate Institute examines 24 of the largest corporations, who have promised to reach carbon neutrality and have positioned themselves as leaders in the fight against climate change.
The new report indicated a far short of the progress required towards averting a catastrophic increase in global temperatures. The report evaluates four main areas of corporate climate action: tracking and disclosure of emissions, setting emission reduction targets, reducing own emissions, and taking responsibility for unabated emissions through climate contributions or offsetting.
The companies analysed in the study have put themselves forward as climate leaders.
Overall, the study found the climate strategies of 15 of the 24 companies to be of low or very low integrity.
Most of the companies’ strategies do not represent examples of good practice climate leadership, it said, and added companies’ climate change commitments often do not add up to what their pledges might suggest.
There is a critical need to shift attention to the 2030 blind spot. Companies’ climate pledges for 2030 fall well short of the required ambition and are inappropriately verified.
Just five out of the 24 companies – H&M Group, Holcim, Stellantis, Maersk, and Thyssenkrupp – commit to decarbonise their emissions by at least around 90% by their respective net-zero target years. We find the long-term targets of 17 companies to be of poor integrity, due to the inadequacy or complete lack of explicit emission reduction commitments alongside ambiguous net-zero pledges.
The authors found that most of these companies’ future net-zero goals and current climate claims are “exaggerated, false, and misleading”.
Climate strategies lack short-term ambition, relying instead on long-term targets without fully explaining how they’re defined or how they would be achieved, the report found. Their pledges are often limited in scope and insufficient to help meet the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial times.
Overall, the net-zero pledges of the 24 companies translate to a commitment to reduce just 36% of the companies’ combined GHG emission footprint, by the respective net-zero target years.