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An overwhelming majority of Americans support both corporate climate transparency and federal requirements for corporations to disclose their climate data, from emissions to emissions reductions to sustainability programs and climate commitments. But while many corporations are improving their climate commitments, some industries are still woefully behind new report from Just Capitalwhich tracks companies in the Russell 1000.
The number of corporations pledging to be net zero by 2050 will more than double from this year to next, from 102 to 238. When they pledged to reduce emissions, the number rose from 412 to 498, by far the strongest category of pledges.
Corporate commitments to reduce emissions enough to stay below precise global warming targets are much lower, but the gains are still promising. Companies with verified Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) targets to meet the two-stage scenario will double from 25 to 45 between 2022 and 2023. Under the most ambitious commitment, the SBTi 1.5-stage verified scenario, 83 companies will become verified, a year-on-year increase of 21%.
“The findings show significant progress,” said Martin Whittaker, the company’s chief executive Just Capital. “But as we know, there is a reluctance to take these commitments at face value. We have seen a doubling of net zero commitments and also an increase in science-based targets, but these are not necessarily concentrated in industries that are big polluters, of course that is where focus the activity.”
While net zero goals generally have a year as a target line, they do not commit to specific reductions in global warming. Whittaker noted that this has raised some concerns that companies will just wait until the last minute to work on these commitments and not focus on what they can do right now.
“However, all companies that have set a 2050 target year have also set interim targets – which will be benchmarks for stakeholders to assess their progress and push for further changes if they are not making progress,” he added.
The report found that companies in lower-emitting sectors such as apparel and accessories and personal products had a larger share of 1.5 SBTi commitments, while high-emitting sectors such as utilities and oil and gas had almost no aggressive commitments .
“Apparel brands and other consumer-facing industries, such as personal products, may experience pressure from their consumer base. Our survey showed that the American public cares about companies disclosing climate information,” Whittaker added. He cited other recent polls Edelman It shows that more than 60% of consumers choose, switch or boycott brands based on their stance on social issues.