Investors Worth $41 Trillion Demand Net-Zero Strategies from World’s Biggest Emitters
A group of big, institutional investors with a combined US$41 trillion under management is turning up the heat on 161 fossils, mining companies, and other major emitters, demanding that they adopt a set of strategies to reach net-zero emissions and pledging to hold them to account for their actions.
“The targeted companies are responsible for up to 80% of global industrial greenhouse gas emissions,” The Guardian reports, citing an announcement Monday by the Climate Action 100+ initiative. “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.”
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The list also includes colossal fossils ExxonMobil, PetroChina, BP, and Royal Dutch Shell, mining and metals companies Rio Tinto and BlueScope Steel, and major Australian fossil and electricity companies AGL, Santos, Woodside, and Origin.
“Investors will be paying particular attention to those shown to be falling short,” warned Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO of the UK-based Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change. She said the analysis in a report to be issued next year will indicate which big emitters are treating the climate emergency as a “business-critical issue”.
Among other indicators, Climate Action 100+ said it would assess whether companies have set strategies to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner, and how they plan to reduce Scope 3 emissions that occur when customers use their products. The group “says some companies have made significant progress, but stresses the need for stronger action on emissions to help limit global heating to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and prevent ‘the devastating impacts of otherwise avoidable climate crisis’,” The Guardian writes.
It adds that 59 of the 161 have expressed formal support for the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, co-founded in 2015 by former Bank of Canada/Bank of England governor Mark Carney and ex-New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.