More than 20 multinational businesses commit to 1.5°C climate goal

The firms, worth more than $1.7 trillion, have made the climate pledges through the Science Based Targets initiative

The Big Zero report

More than 20 businesses, worth a total of more than $1.7 trillion (£1.37tn), have committed to limiting global temperature increases to 1.5°C.

The firms have made the climate pledges through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in response to a call-to-action ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit later this year.

The companies include AstraZeneca, Unilever, Vodafone and Zurich Insurance – they aim to stop global temperatures rising by more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and to work towards reaching net-zero emissions by no later than 2050.

The SBTi notes companies such as BT, Levi Strauss & Co and SAP already have 1.5°C-aligned reduction targets dictating how greenhouse gas emissions from their operations must be reduced.

The most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that if global warming exceeds 1.5°C, there will be disastrous consequences witnessed around the world.

The SBTi notes government policies and targets working towards a 1.5°C trajectory are needed to give businesses the confidence to invest in zero-carbon technologies and adopt new business models.

Lise Kingo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, said: “Climate leadership has never been more important than it is right now and it is inspiring to see so many diverse companies and brands boldly raising their ambitions.

“Leading companies are already proving that 1.5°C-compliant climate targets are possible, and I encourage all businesses to seize this opportunity to position themselves at the forefront of this movement and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

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