New report suggests corporate climate change pledges aren’t that valuable
Science & Technology

New report suggests corporate climate change pledges aren’t that valuable

Many S&P 100 firms that declare to care about climate change are both ignoring or derailing insurance policies that may present options to the disaster, a brand new report finds. A whopping 92 % of firms on the S&P 100 index in 2019 have pledged to chop down their very own planet-heating emissions, however simply 40 % are literally pushing lawmakers to handle the climate disaster, and 21 % have advocated in opposition to science-based climate coverage over the previous 5 years.

So whereas firms would possibly promote themselves to shoppers as planet-friendly, they’re not essentially having the identical conversations with decision-makers who’re most answerable for tackling the disaster. Netflix, for instance, plans to slash its greenhouse gases dramatically by the tip of subsequent 12 months, however the streaming large has but to publicly advocate for any particular science-based climate insurance policies, according to Ceres.

Firms and lawmakers alike might want to do rather more to fulfill the size and urgency of the climate disaster. Scientists have found that world greenhouse fuel emissions have to drop to basically zero inside just a few many years to keep away from a future on Earth to which life will battle to adapt. However proposals by the Biden administration to overtake US infrastructure and make the financial system cleaner and greener are stalling in Congress.

It may be unhealthy for enterprise for firms fail to reside as much as their climate pledges, says the nonprofit group Ceres that printed the report. “These firms that should not actively lobbying for science-based climate insurance policies are successfully working in opposition to themselves, making it extraordinarily difficult for them to realize the daring targets they’ve set to scrub up their very own enterprise operations, risking each their reputations and their monetary efficiency,” Steven Rothstein, Ceres managing director of the Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets, mentioned in a press release. In any case, firms are going through mounting financial risks from climate catastrophe. Oatly, whereas not an S&P 100 firm, recently disclosed that its oats are weak to climate-induced disasters.

Some firms have flip-flopped on climate change over the previous a number of years, particularly as political winds modified. Twelve of the businesses Ceres assessed have each lobbied for and in opposition to insurance policies geared toward stopping climate change. Take Ford: it beforehand supported Trump’s efforts to weaken gas effectivity requirements. But it surely switched sides to back California’s stricter standards in 2019 after which introduced plans to reach carbon neutrality — chopping down and offsetting all of its emissions — by 2050.

Different firms are responsible of climate inaction by affiliation, in keeping with the report. About three-quarters of S&P 100 firms are members of the US Chamber of Commerce, which Ceres says “has lengthy resisted the insurance policies the nation must make its financial system extra sustainable.” Apple is the one firm Ceres assessed that deserted the chamber over its place on climate change.

Protesting inaction is likely to be simply what the US Chamber of Commerce and corporations have to make modifications. It’s not simply Apple. Firms are going through extra stress from employees, consumers, and activist shareholders who’re involved concerning the setting. Shareholders have even lately pushed fossil gas firms like Chevron and Exxon to hasten efforts to work extra sustainably. There are many methods to push for change, and each technique will seemingly should play a job in saving the planet.

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