September 14, 2020 Read More →

Leading investor group pushes major emitters to back net zero emissions goal

The Guardian:

A group representing investors that collectively manage more than US$47 [trillion] in assets has demanded the world’s biggest corporate polluters back strategies to reach net-zero emissions and promised to hold them to public account.

Climate Action 100+, an initiative supported by 518 institutional investor organisations across the globe, has written to 161 fossil fuel, mining, transport and other big-emitting companies to set 30 climate measures and targets against which they will be analysed in a report to be released early next year.

It is the latest step in a campaign by climate-concerned shareholders to force business leaders to explain how their targets and strategies will help reach the goals of the 2015 Paris agreement.

The targeted companies are responsible for up to 80% of global industrial greenhouse gas emissions. They include mining giant BHP, which last week promised to reduce emissions from its operations by 30% over the next decade on a path to net zero by 2050 after sustained pressure from activist shareholder groups. Others on the list include Exxon Mobil, PetroChina, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Rio Tinto, BlueScope Steel and major Australian energy companies AGL, Santos, Woodside and Origin.

In a statement on Monday, the Climate Action steering committee lists “indicators” on which the businesses will be measured, including whether they have strategies to reach net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner and reduce the “scope 3” emissions released by customers using the companies’ products. It says some companies have made significant progress, but stresses the need for stronger action on emissions to help limit global heating to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels and prevent “the devastating impacts of otherwise avoidable climate crisis”.

Companies involved include QBE, Suncorp, Insurance Australia Group, National Australia Bank, Westpac, Commonwealth Bank, HSBC Australia and Munich Re. The scientific guidelines were developed by scientists from the CSIRO, Bureau of Meteorology and leading universities.

[Adam Morton]

More: Investors that manage US$47tn demand world’s biggest polluters back plan for net-zero emissions

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