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European, US Firms’ Climate Momentum Stalls

New research published by international climate consultancy and project developer EcoAct has identified a fall-off in climate reporting and progress by 20 of the largest listed companies on European and US indices in the past 12 months. EcoAct scored the companies against 26 KPIs covering emissions measurement and reporting, ambition and emissions reduction targets, strategy governance and action plans, and achievements. It noted a “significant drop” in scores compared to the previous year. In 2021, the highest scoring company achieved 92.6%, whereas this year the highest score is 81.5%, which was awarded to IBEX-listed telecoms firm Telefónica. The average score for the top 20 also decreased from 74.2% to 66.1%. The indices covered by EcoAct’s research are CAC (France), DAX (Germany), DOW (US), FTSE (UK), FTSE MIB (Italy) and IBEX (Spain). Looking more specifically at FTSE-listed companies, the report noted that 48% of FTSE 100 businesses have achieved Scope 1-2 emissions reductions in line with 1.5°C, in comparison to 72% in 2021. Further, 97% of FTSE 100 businesses don’t have long-term decarbonisation targets for Scopes 1-2 emissions and 96% lack a long-term reduction plan for Scope 3. Stuart Lemmon, EcoAct’s CEO, said: “Last year, COP26 built phenomenal momentum, however, it appears that this progress has stalled. Far fewer businesses achieved emissions reductions this year, after we saw significant reductions as a result of Covid-19. Businesses now have a fresh set of economic and geopolitical challenges to contend with. These can be a further stimulus for action.” 

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