A group of 155 companies have signed a statement to reaffirm their own science-based climate commitments and urge governments to align COVID-19 economic aid and recovery efforts with the latest climate science.
The statement comes at a time when governments across the world are mobilizing trillions of dollars in economic stimulus packages to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governments are also preparing to submit enhanced NDCs under the Paris Agreement this year.
A group of 155 companies representing a combined market capitalization of USD 2.4 trillion have signed a statement urging governments to align their COVID-19 economic aid and recovery efforts with the latest climate science.
The companies, which are all members of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), employ 5 million people, are headquartered in 33 countries, and span 34 sectors. Their statement calls on governments to build resilience against future shocks by aligning policies with the goal of limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5°C by achieving net zero emissions well before 2050. The companies pledge to continue to: demonstrate that the best decisions and actions are grounded in science; invest in recovery and resilience for a systemic socioeconomic transformation; and work with governments and scale up the movement.
Signatories include AstraZeneca, Bayer, Coca-Cola European Partners, Colgate Palmolive Company, EDF Group, EDP Energias de Portugal, Enel, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Iberdrola, Inter IKEA Group, Intuit, JLL, Mars, Nestlé, Orange, PensionDanmark, Salesforce.com inc, and Unilever, among others.
A net zero-aligned recovery will enable companies to invest and innovate at the pace and scale necessary to build back better.
As members of the SBTi, the companies all have established, or pledged to establish, science-based emissions targets. In joining the statement, the companies reaffirm their own commitments to achieving a zero-carbon economy, and urge governments to match their ambition by “aligning policies and recovery plans with the latest climate science.”
The statement comes at a time when governments across the world are mobilizing trillions of dollars in economic stimulus packages to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Governments are also preparing to submit enhanced nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement on climate change this year.
The statement was organized by the SBTi, and its campaign partners with Business Ambition for 1.5°, the UN Global Compact, and the We Mean Business coalition. The SBTi independently assesses and validates corporate climate targets against climate science and is a collaboration between CDP, the UN Global Compact, the World Resources Institute (WRI), and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
UN Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed “the ambitious, science-based actions we are seeing from leading companies who are demonstrating to policymakers that green growth remains the best growth strategy.” “A net zero-aligned recovery will enable companies to invest and innovate at the pace and scale necessary to build back better, creating decent jobs, protecting health, reducing emissions and increasing resilience in the future,” said Maria Mendiluce, CEO, We Mean Business. [UN Gloabal Compact Statement] [UNFCCC Press Release]
By Gabriel Gordon-Harper, Thematic Expert on Climate Change and Sustainable Energy