330+ target-setting firms reduce emissions by a quarter in five years since Paris Agreement
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330+ target-setting firms reduce emissions by a quarter in five years since Paris Agreement

January 26, 2021

As global leaders gather for the UN’s Climate Adaptation Summit on climate resilience, new data published by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) shows that companies with science-based targets are delivering on large-scale emissions reductions. Target-setting companies have successfully reduced their emissions by 25% since 2015, a difference of 302 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, the same as the annual emissions from 78 coal-fired power plants.

Five years on from the Paris Agreement, the SBTi analysed the emissions of a group of 338 companies whose climate targets have been approved by the SBTi as aligned with climate science and the goals of the Paris Agreement. This is the first ever study to look at how setting science-based targets correlates with corporate emissions reductions and the extent to which companies are actually delivering on those targets.

SBTi finds that the typical company with SBTs actually slashed direct (scope 1 and 2) emissions at a linear annual rate (6.4%) that exceeds the rate required under the SBTi’s criteria to meet 1.5°C-aligned warming scenarios (4.2%). This shows companies with SBTs are taking climate action at rates that not only meet, but are faster than, the pace of action required by the Paris Agreement. These figures compare to an average increase of around 0.85% per year in global emissions for energy and industrial processes over the same period (see Fig.1 graph below).

New research from the SBTi today suggests that the planned emissions savings of companies with science-based targets are also set to generate US$25.9 billion of new investment into climate mitigation initiatives in the next decade.

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