Funds require science emissions targets from 1,600 companies

Environmental activists take part in a rally demanding action to prevent climate change in central Kiev, Ukraine on September 26, 2021. REUTERS / Valentyn Ogirenko

  • 220 financial institutions call for “urgent” action
  • Companies responsible for 11.9 gigatonnes of emissions
  • Ahead of global climate talks in Glasgow

LONDON, Sept. 29 (Reuters) – Funds with nearly $ 30 trillion in assets on Wednesday called on 1,600 of the world’s most polluting companies to “urgently” set science-based emission reduction targets.

The 220 investors, including Fidelity International and Amundi, said they wrote to CEOs of companies they invest in with demanding targets that would help limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2050.

Their call comes just over a month before world leaders gather in Britain for the latest round of global climate talks, with all countries being challenged to set tougher targets as the impacts of climate change are becoming more pronounced.

The group said in a statement that the companies in question collectively accounted for 11.9 gigatonnes of so-called Scope 1 and 2 emissions, those related to their operations, which totaled more than the European Union and the United States combined.

He said Hyundai Motor Company, chemical company BASF and German airline Lufthansa were among those approached.

A Lufthansa spokesperson highlighted the airline’s commitment to be net zero by 2050, halve its net carbon emissions and be carbon neutral in its ground operations by 2030.

A Hyundai spokesperson referred to a September 6 statement in which the company declared its commitment to become carbon neutral by 2045, aided by increased sales of zero-emission vehicles.

BASF did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Contacted by the nonprofit disclosure platform CDP, the institutions said they want all businesses to set goals for themselves through the Science-Based Targets Initiative, an independent body that verifies their robustness.

“As long-term investors seeking to allocate capital responsibly, we expect our portfolio companies to develop, commit and execute science-based emission reduction plans aligned with the Paris Agreement, ”said Barnaby Wiener, Head of Sustainability and Stewardship at MFS Investment Management.

The group did not specify in its statement what actions its signatories would take if the companies did not do what they were asked to do, but as shareholders they can ultimately use their voting powers to try to force change. it doesn’t happen.

Reporting by Simon Jessop Editing by Alexander Smith and Mark Potter

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