One fifth of the world’s largest companies have set net zero targets

 

According to a new report by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) and Oxford Net Zero, 21% of the world’s 2,000 largest public companies now have net zero commitments.

The majority of these companies also have interim targets, a published plan and a reporting mechanism, with over a quarter meeting a full set of ‘robustness criteria’. However, companies are warned that if they do not complement targets with proper governance and transparency mechanisms, including offsetting reliance, they risk being accused of greenwashing.

The report - 'Taking Stock: A global assessment of net zero targets' - is the first systematic analysis of net zero commitments across countries, sub-national governments and major companies. The report quantifies the extent to which net zero targets reach a certain minimum set of robustness criteria, which has been set out by the UN Race to Zero Campaign. Currently, 20% of net zero target meet this.

The report also found that 61% of countries, 9% of states and regions in the largest emitting countries and 13% of cities with over a population of 500,000 have now committed to net zero.

Richard Black, Senior Associate at ECIU and lead author of the report, said: “Although net zero as a concept is still in its infancy, it is already driving policy change. Clearly though, to keep the world on track to global climate targets we need more countries, states, regions and companies to sign up to targets and existing pledges to be improved."