Corporate Climate Targets to Have Limited Impact on Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Report

Some of the world’s biggest companies have made climate targets that will have only a limited impact on their actual greenhouse gas emissions, a report has found.

A study of 25 of the world’s largest companies, the Corporate Climate Responsibility Monitor, found just three had a plan that would lead to decarbonization of more than 90% of the emissions from their full value chain.

Of the companies, 12 had no specific emission reduction commitment, said the report, conducted by German climate research body the NewClimate Institute in collaboration with the non-profit Carbon Market Watch.

When combined, the 25 companies had pledged to cut less than a fifth of the 2.7 gigatonnes of emissions they were responsible for in 2019 by their various target years, it said.

“We set out to uncover as many replicable good practices as possible, but we were frankly surprised and disappointed at the overall integrity of the companies’ claims” said Thomas Day of NewClimate Institute, lead author of the study.

“As pressure on companies to act on climate change rises, their ambitious-sounding headline claims all too often lack real substance, which can mislead both consumers and the regulators that are core to guiding their strategic direction. Even companies that are doing relatively well exaggerate their actions.”

(Reporting by Simon Jessop in London; editing by Matthew Lewis)

Photograph: Steam and exhaust rise from the RWE Weisweiler coal-fired power station on Feb. 11, 2021 near Inden, Germany. Photo credit: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images.