Just 4% of top companies meet UN climate target guidelines, study says
Half of the world's 2,000 biggest listed companies have set a target to get to net-zero emissions by mid-century, but just a fraction meet tough United Nations guidelines for what constitutes a quality pledge, a report on Monday showed.
Net Zero Tracker, an independent data consortium including Oxford University, said corporate targets from Forbes 2000 index companies had jumped 40 percent to 1,003 in October 2023, from 702 in June 2022, covering two-thirds of revenues, some $27 trillion.
However, just 4 percent of the targets meet the criteria laid down by the UN's Race to Zero campaign, for example by covering all emissions, starting to cut them immediately, and including an annual progress update on interim and longer term targets.
Of those to set a target, just 37 percent had one that covered their Scope 3 emissions, or emissions tied to a company's value chain for which companies are not directly responsible. Just 13 percent had a quality threshold for the use of carbon offsets.
The pace of change among governments and corporates is set to form a central part of the COP28 climate talks in Dubai starting in late November.
As well as companies, the Net Zero Tracker tracks pledges made by nations, states and regions, and cities using machine and human data analysis.