UN / GLOBAL COMPACT G7 EMISSIONS

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10-Jun-2021 00:03:21
UN Global Compact Executive Director Sanda Ojiambo said, among all the leading G7 stock indexes, “none are aligned” with the Paris climate goals and stressed that science-based targets “are the near-term breakthrough mitigation measure” that the corporate sector needs to reach those goals. UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / GLOBAL COMPACT G7 EMISSIONS
TRT: 3:21
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 10 JUNE 2021, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UN headquarters exterior

10 JUNE 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, press room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Sanda Ojiambo, Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact:
“Today, more and more businesses are seeing opportunities in zero-carbon economy, and corporate greenhouse gas emission reduction targets are going mainstream. Yet not all targets are equal. Many targets are still lacking in the credibility, and in the grounding in science that is much needed to meet the Paris goals. If we are to stand the chance to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, companies must cut emissions now.”
4. Wide shot, journalists in press room
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Sanda Ojiambo, Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact:
“Of all leading G7 indexes, none are aligned with a two-degree pathway, much less with the 1.5 trajectory that is so urgently needed. Instead, we have found that those stock markets are on average on a dangerous 2.95-degree Celsius pathway. The ambition gap is clear. Across all equity indexes, more than three quarters of companies are still missing in action, in terms of setting the most ambitious emission reduction targets, aligning with the much needed 1.5 degrees Celsius to reach net-zero by 2050.”
6. Wide shot, press room
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Sanda Ojiambo, Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact:
“Thankfully, we have a clear solution. The report reveals that the more emissions are covered by science-based targets in an index, the better the temperature score. A huge mitigation potential can be unlocked. We need to see the companies from all sectors in all markets set science-based targets.”
8. Wide shot, press room
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Sanda Ojiambo, Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact:
“Science-based targets are the near-term breakthrough mitigation measure that the corporate sector needs to reach the Paris goals. We know that when heavy emitters set science-based targets, entire market indexes can shift towards alignment with a 1.5-degree future, paving the way for the rest of the economy to follow.”
10. Wide shot, press room
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Paul Simpson, Chief Executive Officer, Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP):
“We look at those equity indexes because they set benchmarks to understand market trends and performance of the largest companies in each G7 country. And as long as any investable index is not aligned with Paris, billions of dollars of investment capital will flow into those indices in those companies because of passive investing that flows straight into those indices. So, we must stop this. This is a major problem. Either the indices become Paris and 1.5 degree aligned, or investments must change. Why the G7 focus? Well, clearly we have the meeting this weekend, but G7 countries are responsible for 40 per cent of the world's economic wealth and 25 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.”
12. Wide shot, press room
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Sanda Ojiambo, Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact:
“So, to the extent that the activism has resulted in changes in boards and other high-level actions, that's fine. I think what is really important is what is happening and changing within companies. And as we've said, what's critical is not only the long-term goals, because there's a platter of long-term commitments to 2050. Our call to action is for companies to really set short- and medium-term goals that align with the science-based targets; and I think that really is the change and the shifts that we want to see.”
14. Wide shot, press room

STORYLINE:

UN Global Compact Executive Director Sanda Ojiambo said, among all the leading G7 stock indexes, “none are aligned” with the Paris climate goals and stressed that science-based targets “are the near-term breakthrough mitigation measure” that the corporate sector needs to reach those goals.

Presenting the latest flagship climate report title 'Taking the Temperature: Assessing and scaling-up climate ambition in the G7 business sector' to reporters in New York today (10 Jun), Ojiambo said since 2019, close to 600 companies joined UN Global Compact business ambition for 1.5-degree campaign, representing a market cap of close to 13 trillion USD.

She said science-based targets are becoming a business pre-requisite for credible climate action. She added, “Today, more and more businesses are seeing opportunities in zero-carbon economy, and corporate greenhouse gas emission reduction targets are going mainstream. Yet not all targets are equal. Many targets are still lacking in the credibility, and in the grounding in science that is much needed to meet the Paris goals. If we are to stand the chance to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, companies must cut emissions now.”

UN Global Compact chief said the report was prepared in collaboration with the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) in the framework of the Science-Based Target Initiative and takes the temperature of corporate emissions target reductions. She said it assessed corporate climate ambitions in G7countries using a temperature rating of the leading equity indices of the G7 markets but noted that unfortunately the results were striking and alarming.

Ojiambo said, “Of all leading G7 indexes, none are aligned with a two-degree pathway, much less with the 1.5 trajectory that is so urgently needed. Instead, we have found that those stock markets are on average on a dangerous 2.95-degree Celsius pathway. The ambition gap is clear. Across all equity indexes, more than three quarters of companies are still missing in action, in terms of setting the most ambitious emission reduction targets, aligning with the much needed 1.5 degrees Celsius to reach net-zero by 2050.”

UN Global Compact chief said there was a “clear solution” to this issue. The report revealed that the more emissions are covered by science-based targets in an index, “the better the temperature score.” She added, “A huge mitigation potential can be unlocked. We need to see the companies from all sectors in all markets set science-based targets.”

Ojiambo said environmental ministers have explicitly called for business and investors to set science-based net-zero targets. He underscored that science-based targets “are the near-term breakthrough mitigation measure that the corporate sector needs to reach the Paris goals. We know that when heavy emitters set science-based targets, entire market indexes can shift towards alignment with a 1.5-degree future, paving the way for the rest of the economy to follow.”

CDP Chief Executive Officer Paul Simpson said the report looks at the equity indexes “because they set benchmarks to understand market trends and performance of the largest companies in each G7 country.” He said as long as any investable index is not aligned with the Paris goals, “billions of dollars of investment capital will flow into those indices in those companies because of passive investing that flows straight into those indices.”
He added, “So we must stop this. This is a major problem. Either the indices become Paris and 1.5 degree aligned, or investments must change. Why the G7 focus? Well, clearly we have the meeting this weekend, but G7 countries are responsible for 40 per cent of the world's economic wealth and 25 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.”

The report identifies four urgent climate actions for business and governments. Firstly, businesses and governments must collaborate to harness the ‘ambition loop’, a positive feedback cycle in which private sector action and government policies reinforce one another. Secondly, corporations must work to decarbonise supply chains by engaging with suppliers. Thirdly, investors should embed science-based targets into sustainability-linked bonds and climate financial standards. And finally, financial institutions should aim to create a domino effect in all sectors of the economy through setting portfolio-level science-based targets and engagement with underlying assets.

Asked about the best and most effective investor activism, UN Global Compact Executive Director Sanda Ojiambo said changes in boards and other high-level actions are fine but was is “really important is what is happening and changing within companies.” She said what is critical is not only the long-term goals, rather the call to action “is for companies to really set short- and medium-term goals that align with the science-based targets.”
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