Nearly 180 Companies Embrace Science-Based Targets to Align With Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C Target

Gabriel daSilva

As climate negotiations enter their critical final days, private companies representing more than 5.8 million employees have pledged to hold themselves to emission levels in keeping with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C target.


11 December 2019 | MADRID | One day after Greta Thunberg implored climate negotiators here to “follow the science” on making climate policy, dozens of companies joined the “Business Ambition for 1.5°C” campaign, pledging in essence to align their practices with a global goal of preventing global temperatures from rising to a level more than 1.5°C (2.7°F) above preindustrial levels. Temperatures have already risen 1.1°C, according to the World Meteorological Organization, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the living ecosystems that support our civilization are already dangerously unstable.

The new signatories brings the total to 177 companies representing more than 5.8 million employees spanning 36 sectors and with headquarters in 36 countries. The companies have a combined market capitalization of over US$2.8 trillion, and represent annual direct emissions equivalent to the annual total CO2 emissions of France.

The companies are committed to setting science-based targets through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which independently assesses corporate emissions reduction targets in line with what climate scientists say is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The news comes on the occasion of the annual High-level Meeting of Caring for Climate, convened by the UN Global Compact, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and UN Environment. As a high-level stakeholder consultation — with a focus on private sector engagement — the event helps to identify key levers of action necessary to help increase corporate support for enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions and the Sustainable Development Goals.

“We are quickly nearing our last opportunity to be on the right side of history. The climate emergency is already disrupting people, business operations, economies and ecosystems around the world,” said Lise Kingo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, one of the SBTi partners. “As countries prepare to enhance their national climate action plans next year, business leaders have a critical role to play in challenging Governments to urgently match their climate ambitions. We need all businesses to be activists for our only future.”

The latest cohort of companies joining the “Business Ambition for 1.5°C” campaign includes: Abreu Advogados, Aguas Andinas, Ambev, An Post, Auchan Retail Portugal, BanColombia, Beiersdorf, BIAL, Carlsberg Group, Cellnex Telecom, Chanel, CTT – Correios de Portugal, Decathlon, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Dutch-Bangla Pack, Ecolab, EcoVadis, Efacec Power Solutions, EPAL – Empresa Portugesa das Aguas Livres, Europa Mundo Vacaciones, Europcar Mobility Group, Everis Portugal, Givaudan, Green Innovation Group, Grundfos, Henkel, Iberia, Ignitis Group, Infraestruturas de Portugal, International Airlines Group (IAG), Intrepid Travel, Landsec, Lojas Renner, Lundbeck, Multiplex Construction Europe, NOS, Novo Banco, NR Instant Produce, Olam International, Ono Pharmaceutical, Orbia Advance, Orkla, Qalaa Holdings, Red Electrica de España, REN – Redes Energeticas Nacionais, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Sopra Steria Group, South East Water, Storebrand, Tendam Retail, TenneT Holding, Tesco, The Lux Collective, TMG Automotive, Univar Solutions, Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa, and Yarra Valley Water, amongst others.

Gabriel daSilva covers finance and trade flows as well as forestry and land use.

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