May 26 – The question of how the hundreds of companies that have set net-zero commitments are actually going to deliver on them has taken on greater urgency in the wake of the UK Met Office’s recent assessment that there is an even chance global temperatures will overshoot the “safe” limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius in the next five years.
According to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), 1,373 companies have had emissions reduction plans approved as being in line with the science of climate change, which calls for emissions to be halved globally by 2030.
But talk – and targets – are cheap, and there are concerns that companies that are voluntarily setting targets could undermine the global effort to address climate change if it becomes a substitute, rather than a spur, for decisive action to cut emissions.
As U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at an inaugural meeting of a new high-level expert panel to develop clearer standards for corporate net-zero commitments: “The world is in a race against time. We cannot afford slow movers (nor) fake movers.”