Companies Failing to Set and Meet Emission Targets

Tortoise Net Zero reports: Less than half of FTSE 100 companies are on track to meet their emissions reductions targets,

Companies are coming under growing pressure from investors, consumers and regulators to prepare for the transition to net zero. But while some of the UK’s biggest companies have grasped the need for change, far too many are still focused on business as usual.

The UN said last year that there was “no credible pathway” to holding the global temperature rise to 1.5C. Above this level, millions more people around the world will be exposed to extreme heat waves, rainfall and drought, while the risk of forest fires and the spread of invasive species and pests increases.

Tortoise reported last year that if everyone decarbonised at the same rate that the FTSE 100 collectively plans to, the world would be on track for warming of at least 2.8C. The full list of companies and temperature pathways is published here.

The analysis found:

  • Autotrader, Next, SSE, Tesco and Whitbread are among just 16 FTSE 100 companies that have set targets aligned with a 1.5C rise in global temperatures and are also on track to meet that target.
  • A total of 29 companies in the FTSE 100 are aligned with a temperature rise of more than 3C, including Shell, Rio Tinto and BAE Systems.

One of the challenges for oil majors is the shortage of targets for a big clean energy deal. A shortage of money is definitely not a problem.

Just two new wind turbines were installed in England in 2022, according to research from trade body RenewableUK. Onshore wind is one of the cheapest forms of power generation and, along with solar, one of the quickest to deploy. Yet its rollout in England is choked by a planning framework that says new applications must have the backing of the local community and be in an area identified as “suitable” for wind. Six new onshore wind projects were installed in Scotland last year, accounting for nearly all the new onshore power capacity added in the UK in 2022. The government has announced a consultation on reform of planning rules. Change can’t happen fast enough.

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