https://www.businessgreen.com/news/4021 ... mate-goals
More than 1,800 companies have been asked to set science-based climate targets thanks to a major new push from 137 global investors
More than 130 investors holding nearly $20tr in assets have joined forces today to call on many of the world's most high-emitting companies to set science-based climate targets.
Tesla, Gazprom, Rio Tinto, Royal Mail, G4S, and Next are just some of the high profile companies included in a list of 1,800 listed firms that have been urged to set more stringent emissions reduction targets in an open letter from a raft of global financial institutions coordinated by investor-backed campaign group CDP.
The targeted companies operational and power emissions alone contribute to roughly 25 per cent of the globe's emissions and are therefore directly responsible for exposing the financial system to climate risk, according to CDP. And once value chain emissions are accounted for, the influence of the companies extends to cover 75 per cent of the world's carbon footprint.
Nikko Asset Management, Armundi, AXA Group, and Legal & General Investment Management are among the 137 financial institutions to back the campaign, which CDP claims is the most extensive push to date for companies to adopt climate targets using methodologies set out by the independent Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
"We hope this campaign will signal that investors are serious about climate issues, and emphasise the importance and urgency of creating a forward-looking science-based target, integrated with long-term corporate strategies," said Hiroki Tsujimura, chief investment officer at Nikko Asset Management.
If the companies in question heed the recommendations of the letter and establish SBTi-aligned targets, they would join roughly 300 other companies worldwide to have set a target through the SBTi's Business Ambition for 1.5C campaign. Meanwhile, over 1,000 companies across the globe have pledged to set some form of science-based targets.
Emily Kreps, global director of capital markets at CDP, said the importance of investor engagement in driving bolder climate action from corporates "cannot be overstated".
"Climate change presents material risks to investments, and companies that are failing to set targets grounded in science risk losing out - and causing greater damage to the world economy," she said. "As the interest in this campaign shows, investors want to see accelerated corporate commitment that reflects the unprecedented challenge the planet faces."
With the importance of business resilience and adaptation to systemic risk underscored by the coronavirus crisis, "the tide is turning rapidly against companies not taking note of investor demands", Kreps said.
The move comes on the same day that the Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance announced that a group of 30 institutional investors representing $5tr of assets under management has pledged to collectively set short-term portfolio emisisons reduction targets for 2025, in a bid to accelerate decarbonisation efforts from companies in their portfolios in support of their long term goals to ensure their investment activity delivers net zero emissions by mid-century.