Companies Commit to Increase Ambition Ahead of UN Climate Action Summit
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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Twenty-eight companies with a total market capitalization of USD 1.3 trillion have committed to increase their ambition by aligning their emission reduction targets with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels.

The CEOs who commit their companies to a 1.5°C target will be recognized at the UN Global Compact’s Private Sector Forum during the UN Climate Action Summit.

23 July 2019: Companies are calling on governments to match their commitment to set climate targets aligned with limiting the global average temperature rise to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels and a net zero future ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit on 23 September 2019.

Twenty-eight companies with a total market capitalization of USD 1.3 trillion have committed to increase their ambition in response to the ‘Business Ambition for 1.5°C’ campaign through more aggressive climate targets aligned with limiting global warming to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels and reaching net zero emissions by 2050. The call to action was issued in June in an open letter addressed to business leaders and signed by 25 global leaders, including UN General Assembly (UNGA) President María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, UN Global Compact CEO and Executive Director Lise Kingo, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa and Global Optimism Co-Founder Christiana Figueres.

By sending strong market signals, the companies are showing governments that they must ramp up ambition in their NDCs.

The 28 companies collectively represent over one million employees from 17 sectors and more than 16 countries. Of the 28 companies, AstraZeneca, BT, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Levi Strauss & Co., SAP, Signify and Unilever already have 1.5°C-aligned reduction targets that cover emissions from their operations.

UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Climate Action Summit, Luis Alfonso de Alba, said that by sending strong market signals, the companies are showing governments that they must ramp up ambition in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). In turn, by setting policies and targets in line with a 1.5°C trajectory, governments give businesses the clarity and confidence they require to invest in the zero-carbon economies.

The companies will set targets through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which mobilizes companies to set science-based targets and increase their competitive advantage in transitioning to the low-carbon economy and assesses corporate emission reduction targets against the latest climate science. To date, over 600 businesses are setting science-based emission reduction targets in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The CEOs who commit their companies to a 1.5°C target will be recognized at the UN Global Compact’s Private Sector Forum during the UN Climate Action Summit. [UN Global Compact News Story] [List of 28 Companies] [SDG Knowledge Hub Climate Finance Update Featuring Call by Investors, Civil Society, Businesses and UN Leaders for Governments and Companies to Reduce Emissions]


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