Businesses lack robust plans to reach net zero

Just 19% of FTSE 100 businesses have set long-term emissions reductions target to meet net-zero goals, according to new analysis.

The report from consultancy EcoAct also found that just 3% of companies have a long-term emissions reduction target aligned with limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

Two thirds of FTSE 100 companies, however, are now committed to achieving net zero up from 45% in 2020. Three-quarters of FTSE 100 businesses, meanwhile, have set or have committed to set science-based targets, up from 57% last year.

Coca Cola, Unilever and AB Inbev are rated among the top 20 international businesses for climate reporting and action by the survey, which also scored companies in the DOW 30 and Euro STOXX 50.

Nearly 80% of businesses across all indices demonstrated alignment with the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations on climate reporting with hospitality the worst performing industry sector on this measure.

Only 2% of businesses, meanwhile, have strategies in place that will achieve emissions reductions in line with 1.5°C.

EcoAct said the analysis revealed that with clear frameworks to follow – such as the TCFD recommendations and the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) – more and more businesses are demonstrating governance on climate change and committing to short- and medium-term targets in pursuit of net zero.

“Businesses have a vital role to play in tackling climate change but need to be led by more ambitious long-term policy and regulation, underpinned by realistic frameworks to work within, to achieve net zero,” said Stuart Lemmon, managing director, Northern Europe for EcoAct. “The outcomes of COP26 will be pivotal for turning intent into action.”

Last week, the UK government announced that businesses will be required to publish credible net zero transition plans under new green finance rules.

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