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

Companies that say they want to stop climate change aren’t doing enough

Many S&P 100 companies that claim to care about climate change are either ignoring or derailing policies that could provide a solution to the crisis, a new report has found. In 2019, 92 percent of companies on the S&P 100 index have pledged to cut their own planet-heating emissions, but just 40 percent are actually pushing lawmakers to tackle the climate crisis, and 21 percent said science-based Have advocated against climate policy. in the last five years.

So while companies may sell themselves to consumers as planet-friendly, they may not necessarily be having the same conversation with the decision makers who are most responsible for handling the crisis. Netflix, for example, plans to dramatically reduce its greenhouse gases by the end of next year, but the streaming giant has yet to publicly advocate for any specific science-based climate policies, According to Ceres.

Corporations and lawmakers alike will need to do much more to meet the scale and urgency of the climate crisis. scientists have got it That global greenhouse gas emissions need to drop to essentially zero within a few decades to avoid a future on Earth to which life will struggle to adapt. But there are proposals by the Biden administration to overhaul US infrastructure and make the economy clean and green. prevent in Congress.

Ceres, the non-profit group that published the report, says it could also be bad for business as companies fail to deliver on their climate promises. “Companies that are not actively lobbying for science-based climate policies are effectively working against themselves, thereby achieving the bold goals they set for themselves to clean up their own business operations. This has become extremely challenging to do, putting both their reputation and their financial performance at risk, Steven Rothstein, managing director of Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets, said in a statement. Increasing financial risks from climate disaster. Oatly, while not an S&P 100 company, recently revealed that its oats are vulnerable to climate-induced disasters.

Some companies have flip-flopped on climate change over the years, especially in the face of changing political winds. Twelve companies assessing Ceres have lobbied for and against policies aimed at halting climate change. Take Ford: It previously supported Trump’s efforts to weaken fuel efficiency standards. But it changed sides in 2019 to roll back California’s stringent standards and then announced plans to reach carbon neutrality — cutting and offsetting all of its emissions — by 2050.

According to the report, other companies are to blame for climate inaction by the association. About three-quarters of the S&P 100 companies are members of the US Chamber of Commerce, which Ceres says have “long opposed the policies the nation needs to make its economy more sustainable.” Apple is the only company to have assessed Ceres that it has left room on its position on climate change.

Resisting inaction may require the US Chamber of Commerce and companies to make changes. It’s not just Apple. Companies are facing more pressure from employees, consumers and active shareholders concerned about the environment. Shareholders have recently pushed fossil fuel companies such as Chevron and Exxon to accelerate efforts to operate more sustainably. There are so many avenues for change, and every strategy has to play a role in saving the planet.

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