The SBTi Progress Report on climate change targets in 2021
(Sustainabilityenvironment.com) – In 2021, the number of companies that set climate targets consistent with science and climate change made an unprecedented leap. And now they represent 38 trillion dollars, a third of the capital in the world markets. The targets are set by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), the global body that allows companies to set emission reduction targets in line with science.
At the end of last year, 2,253 companies – spread across 70 countries and 15 industrial sectors – had approved climate change targets or emission reduction commitments in line with the SBTi guidelines. More than double those recorded in 2020. Of these, about 80% set targets that are aligned with the threshold of 1.5 grad.
This largely depends on the Net-Zero Standard, the world’s first reference framework for setting zero emissions business targets in line with climate science launched last October. The standard includes the guidelines, criteria and recommendations that companies need to set net-zero targets based on science and consistent with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 ºF.
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But the most important aspect that emerges from the annual report of SBTi is another: in 2021 the “critical mass” of companies needed to trigger an increasingly rapid change in the hard to abbot sectors was reached. A positive fact, especially if read against the background of the climate performance of companies that rely on SBTi. The results of recent years speak of a reduction in emissions of scope 1 and 2 of 12% in 2020 and a long-term reduction of 29% from 2015.
“The global economy needs to halve its emissions by 2030 to reach the Paris target of 1.5% C – and it is currently not on track to do so,” comments Lila Karbassi of SBTi and head of the programme at the UN Global Compact. “This objective is reflected in the latest IPCC report, which sends a clear message: we must implement rapid and urgent emission reductions or face a global catastrophe. The climate action we are seeing from companies is a cause for optimism, but we all need to go further and faster to bridge the emissions gap”.