Food and drink groups including Nestlé, Carlsberg, Mars and Coca-Cola European Partners have joined the coalition
The corporations are urging governments to match their ambition to hold global temperature rise to within 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels
A 150-strong coalition of global corporations, including food and drink groups Nestlé, Tate & Lyle, the Co-op, Carlsberg, Mars and Coca-Cola European Partners, have joined together to call for world leaders to focus on the environment as they plan Covid-19 stimulus packages.
All companies in the coalition also pledged to set independently verified “science-based” zero-carbon targets to battle global warming.
It is the largest ever UN-backed, CEO-led climate advocacy effort, with the major multinationals urging governments to match their ambition to hold global temperature rise to within 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, in line with reaching net-zero emissions before 2050.
The signatories are all part of the Science Based Targets initiative – a collaboration between not-for-profit charity CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and the World Wide Fund for Nature – and span 34 sectors with headquarters in 33 countries. They have a combined market value of more than $2.4tn and employ more than five million staff.
The statement from the new coalition comes as governments around the world prepare massive stimulus packages to help economies recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, and as they prepare to submit enhanced national climate plans under the Paris Agreement.
The 155 companies have already set, or committed to set, science-based emissions reduction targets and now call on governments to “prioritise a faster and fairer transition from a grey to a green economy”.
“Governments have a critical role to play by aligning policies and recovery plans with the latest climate science, but they cannot drive a systemic socio-economic transformation alone,” said Lila Karbassi, chief of programmes at the UN Global Compact and Science Based Targets initiative board member.
“To address the interconnected crises we face, we must work together as an international community to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. As the largest-ever UN-backed CEO-led climate advocacy effort, these companies are leading the way in driving ambitious science-based action and advocacy to help reduce vulnerability to future shocks and disasters.”
Paul Simpson, CEO of CDP, one of the SBTi partners, added: “The coronavirus outbreak is a stark reminder of the fragility of our current economic system. It also reminds us that science must be our collective guide on the path to a more resilient economy. Setting and working towards science-based targets is the best way for companies and governments alike to protect against future climate-related business and economic disruptions.”
Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider said: “Let’s work together to create a more sustainable and resilient world. We will play our part and are committed to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”