More than 300 financial institutions and multinational corporations representing $37 trillion in assets and spending power have launched a campaign with research provider and environmental disclosure platform CDP, urging some of the world's highest emitting companies to set climate targets aligned with the global goal of limiting global temperature increase to 1.5°C.
The campaign is supported by many of the world's largest financial institutions, including Allianz Global Investors, AXA Group, Crédit Agricole, and UBS, as well as by 45 multinational corporations with annual procurement spending exceeding $710 billion, including PepsiCo, Astra Zeneca, and Schneider Electric.
CDP's Joint Global Director of Capital Markets, Laurent Babikian, stated:
"Extreme weather during the previous few months has again demonstrated the effects of a global temperature increase of 1.2 degrees. Unless we see a historic drop in GHG emissions – 50 percent in the next eight years – we will not be able to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. But this is simply unattainable unless the companies with the greatest influence set strong goals for decreasing emissions throughout their whole value chain."
As part of the campaign, CDP sent letters to over one thousand companies, selected based on criteria such as emissions and market capitalization, requesting that they set emissions reduction targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), one of the leading organizations focused on aligning corporate environmental sustainability action with the global goals of addressing and limiting climate change.
SBTi was founded in 2015 as a collaboration between CDP, the World Resources Institute (WRI), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), with the intention of making science-based environmental target setting a common corporate practice. SBTi introduced a Net Zero Standard last year to evaluate and certify corporate commitments to attain net zero emissions.
According to SBTi, enterprises with authorized targets typically reduce emissions by 8.8% per year, which is far faster than the rate required for a 1.5°C pathway.
The firms targeted by the campaign are responsible for more than 7 gigatons of Scope 1 and 2 emissions and have a combined market capitalization of nearly $25 trillion. Roughly half of the enterprises are headquartered in the Asia-Pacific area, compared to 23% in the United States.
The CDP conducted a similar effort last year and reported that the new campaign had grown by more than 30 percent in terms of both the number of organisations supporting it and their total assets and purchasing power.
Dr. Luiz Fernando do Amaral, the initiative's chief executive officer, stated:
"Time is of the essence. However, while there is still time to prevent the worst effects of climate collapse, there is reason for optimism. More than 38 trillion dollars' worth of the global economy already has science-based targets or promises to set one. In addition, according to our theory of change, we have reached the tipping point of globally influential corporations. Those remaining must now pay attention and strengthen their climate goals immediately."