In a collective effort to combat climate change, 367 financial institutions and multinational companies, with a combined value of US$33 trillion, are supporting the Science-Based Targets (SBT) Campaign by CDP, an international nonprofit that runs the global environmental disclosure system.
CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, announced last week the launch of its annual SBT Campaign, aimed at encouraging over 2,100 high-emitting companies to establish emissions reduction targets in line with the latest scientific findings.
In the fourth cycle of the campaign, CDP has nearly doubled the number of companies to be targeted in a move to halve greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 and achieve reductions of 90-95% by 2050, with a particular focus on high-emitting markets like China and the United States.
Among the high-emitting companies targeted with the campaign are FedEx, General Electric, Dow Chemical, Eskom, Nippon Steel Corp, Rio Tinto, and JD.com.
Together, these companies are responsible for a staggering 8.3 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions, which is equal to the annual emissions of the US, Japan, and the UK combined.
They also represent about 32% of the MSCI All Country World Index and approximately US$28 trillion in market capitalization.
This year’s call for companies to adopt science-based targets is backed by major financial institutions and corporations, including Legal & General Investment Management, Nomura Asset Management Co., Ltd., Crédit Agricole SA, New York State Common Retirement Fund, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI) and Cathay Financial Holdings, as well as by CDP Supply Chain Members including Bayer, BMW AG and L’Oréal.
The SBT campaign has grown significantly since its launch in 2020, with the number of supporting financial institutions more than doubling, and the number of multinational corporations increasing by 33% in the past year.
The aim is to foster a positive ambition loop between financial institutions, multinational buyers, and high-emitting companies, with a focus on achieving 1.5°C-aligned science-based targets, Claire Elsdon, Global Director at CDP, explained.
During the 2022-2023 campaign, some 100 new companies joined the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), according to CDP’s final progress report for the previous cycle, which ran from October 2022 to September 2023.
Interestingly, companies in Japan took the lead in target setting, while those in the US and China lagged behind.
However, there’s an urgent need for more ambitious target setting to achieve global emissions reduction goals aligned with the 1.5°C target, CDP said.