Helena Lyng Blak
6 weeks ago

Climate Targets of Top Corporations Are Way Off Track, Says New Report

The 2030 climate targets set by more than 50 leading corporations do not align with objective to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
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March was the 10th consecutive record-breaking month in terms of heat. And that is not without reason.

According to a new report, The 2030 climate targets set by more than 50 leading corporations do not align with the Paris Agreement's objective to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

On Tuesday, April 9, the 2024 edition of the Corporate Climate Responsibility Monitor was released as a collaborative effort between the NewClimate Institute and Carbon Market Watch.

“Four years into the critical decade to fight climate change, only a few companies commit to 2030 goals that reflect the latest climate science and present tangible strategies to meet them,” says Frederic Hans from NewClimate. “The majority of companies must ramp up their climate strategies and match the urgency of the crisis we are in.”

The study assesses the emission reduction commitments for 2030 among 51 leading corporations, including companies in the food and agriculture sector, such as Nestlé; the electric utility sector, like E.ON; fashion companies, for example, H&M; major automotive manufacturers, such as Toyota and BMW; and a selection of companies from other sectors, including Amazon, Samsung, and IKEA, which the report did not study in depth.

It found that the median absolute emissions reduction commitment of the 51 companies was between 30-33% below 2019 levels.

To limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C, these companies would need to aim for at least a 43% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a 48% reduction in carbon emissions below 2019 levels.

“Aspiring to be net zero by 2050 is of little use if we trigger runaway climate change over the next few years. Corporations urgently need to at least halve their emissions before 2030,” says Carbon Market Watch Executive Director Sabine Frank. “The dozens of corporations analyzed by the CCRM are neither individually nor collectively on track for emissions reductions that are compatible with a 1.5°C scenario.”

The report recommends increased government regulation and stricter voluntary initiatives, along with more ambitious 2030 targets that align with sector-specific, science-based recommendations. It advises against so-called 'false' solutions, such as offsetting, and 'dishonest' carbon accounting practices, which permit companies to purchase carbon credits for up to 50% of their annual Scope 3 emissions.

What Are Scope 1, 2, and 3 Emissions?

Scope 1 emissions stem from sources directly overseen or possessed by an organization, such as those related to the burning of fuel in boilers, furnaces, and vehicles. On the other hand, Scope 2 emissions refer to the indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from an organization's acquisition of electricity, steam, heat, or cooling.

Lastly, Scope 3 emissions rise from activities related to assets not directly owned or managed by the reporting entity but are indirectly influenced by the organization throughout its value chain. They involve aspects such as use of sold products, end-of-life treatment of sold products, transportation and distribution of products, waste generated in operations, and also less tangible factors like employee commutes, business travels, and so on.

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