A commitment to going Net Zero: plan, pledge, prioritise, publicise
At this year’s COP27 the UN released a report entitled Integrity Matters: Net Zero Commitments by Businesses, Financial Institutions, Cities and Regions.
The report provided an unambiguous call to action for business leaders: peak global emissions in just three years, by 2025, and cut emissions in half in less than eight years, by 2030 whilst moving money from funding fossil fuel infrastructure towards investment in clean energy at scale.
The report highlights the role of ‘non-state actors’ and provides useful guidance for managers and company directors on what is expected by the international community when releasing Net Zero targets and publicising emissions reduction ambitions.
Key recommendations from the report include:
- Net Zero pledges must be made in public and should be owned by the entire organisation, from junior workers all the way through to company directors
- Bonuses of C-Suite executives must be aligned to Net Zero targets. Profitability and sustainability need to be rewarded alongside each other
- Net Zero pledges must be backed up by a clear and publicly available plan that provides stepping-stone stone targets set for every five years. These targets need to demonstrate to employees and to the public how Net Zero goals will be achieved
- A company’s Net Zero plan needs to prioritise urgent and deep emissions reductions that aim to cover the entire scope of the business’s operations (Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions)
- High-integrity verified carbon credits should be used to offset Scope 3 emissions as well as hard-to-abate components of the business’s activities
- City, region, finance, and business Net Zero plans must not support new supply of fossil fuels
- Companies must report publicly every year, and in detail, on their progress, including greenhouse gas data, in a way that can be compared with the baseline they set
- To achieve Net Zero globally, while also ensuring a just transition and sustainable development, there needs to be a new deal including financial institutions and multinational corporations working with governments, Multilateral Development Banks and Development Finance Institutions, to consistently take more risk and set targets to greatly scale their investments in the clean energy transition in developing countries
Background: The High‑Level Expert Group on the Net Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-State Entities was tasked by the United Nations Secretary General with addressing Net Zero pledges and commitments from non‑state actors including corporations, financial institutions, and local and regional governments. In undertaking its work, the Expert Group built on existing credibility and standard setting frameworks for Net Zero pledges to formulate its findings and recommendations.
Please get in touch if you or your company would like to learn more about the journey to Net Zero and the role that high-integrity offsets can play in meeting your company’s emissions reduction goals.