It’s been over three years since the landmark Paris Agreement, and 88% of 1,051 global respondents to our Responsible Business Trends 2019 report believe companies aren’t taking ambitious enough action on climate change (a statistic that falls to 85% when focusing on corporate/brand respondents).
In light of last year’s IPCC report and WWF report, we need to see transformative action from companies to help ensure we address the environmental challenges and keep global warming beneath the 1.5C degree temperature rise.
European corporate respondents are the most damming when it comes to a perceived lack of action, with 90% stating companies are not ambitious enough in their approach. North America follows with 84% and finally Asia/Pacific reflects the least pessimistic viewpoint, with 73% stating a lack of ambitious action from corporations on climate change.
Overall, 73% of corporate and brand respondents agreed with the statement “I expect my company to take a lead in helping meet the Paris Agreement” (an increase of 5% on last year’s report).
To take meaningful action against climate change, companies are being tasked to set GHG emission reduction targets in line with climate science. Only 26% (25% in 2018) of this year’s corporate/brand respondents stated that their company has set and adopted or is finalising Science-Based Targets.
The below charts highlight that Europe is the most advanced in terms of adopting or looking to integrate Science-Based Targets within their operations, followed by Asia/Pacific and finally North America.
In February this year the Science Based Targets Initiative announced that its updated criteria will request companies to be well-below the 2C limit and more in line with a 1.5C target. This survey was conducted in December 2018 / January 2019, before the announcement, and over half of the respondents agreed that the Science-Based Targets should be realigned to a 1.5C target. Based on the stark findings from the recent IPCC and WWF reports, limiting actions and targets to a 1.5C should be the minimum expectation.