Corporations Are Struggling To Achieve Climate Goals Amid Green Backlash 

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A recent report highlighted how large companies are grappling with their role in mitigating the effects of global warming. This report was published a month after BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink, a key figure in the financial world, mentioned climate change only four times in his annual letter compared to 29 mentions in 2020. 

Loss of momentum


Fink’s annual letter coincidently came almost at the same time as a report by the non-profit NewClimate Institute and Carbon Market Watch. The report included 51 large corporations and found that despite 19 improved their targets, it was not enough. 

Things are slowing down 

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Mindy Lubber, chief executive of environmental advocacy group Ceres, told ABC News that the pushback against the changes has been strong, but things are slowing down. Lubber mentioned that BlackRock is still invested in climate risk, but their message differs. 

BlackRock’s goal 

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The company stated that climate risk is investment risk. The $113.21 billion corporation is considered a leader in a fast-growing ESG ((Environmental) business initiative. The investment company is looking to be a leader not only in the US but also globally. They are committed to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

2000 pledges 


Net Zero Tracker revealed that 2000 largest companies have pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions. Still, despite pledges, only one in 20 meets United Nations guidelines for what constitutes a quality pledge. The report also found that many companies are missing one of the vital components, including detailed plans. 

Companies have plans, but they are not good enough


John Lang, the project lead at Net Zero Tracker, told ABC News that while it is easy to recognize the target, finding the right plan is challenging. Dave White, director of the Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation at Arizona State University, commented that despite progress, the goals were not impressive. 

DeSantis vs. climate  

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis commented that Wall Street banks were struggling to impose an agenda, which he found troubling. White commented that some companies are using the politicization of the issue to abandon their previous commitments. 

Changes are vague


The NewClimate Institute and Carbon Market found that 19 companies that showed improvement still gave vague results. The most significant positive changes were noticed in four companies: Mars, H&M Group, and energy groups Enel and Iberdrola. NewClimate Institute’s Frederic Hans shared that some companies understand their 2030 targets, but others lack commitment. 

European companies are the leaders 

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European companies are investing in climate strategies more than any other continent, though there is an increase in the US. Europe holds 84% of these funds, with the US counting for an increase of only 0.6%.  

Standard Chartered CEO agrees with BlackRock

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Standard Chartered CEO Bill Winters commented in 2024 that environmentally conscious investing can benefit businesses. Speaking to CNBC, Winters shared that while the political environment in the States is far more toxic, he still wants us to keep living on this planet. 

The green backlash 


Despite being the leader, Europe is facing green backlash, just like the US. This is no surprise since companies and citizens finally feel the cost of energy transitions. But Winters is not backing down, explaining that if it is good for your planet, it is good for business.

The EU’s aim 


European Union wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, and become carbon neutral by 2050. That is going to be a massive challenge, especially in agriculture. 

Only a handful of companies are responsible for 80% of global carbon emissions


A report revealed that 57 fossil fuel and cement producers are responsible for a staggering 80% of global fossil CO2 emissions since the Paris Agreement. This data, compiled by InfluenceMap using information from the Carbon Majors think tank, highlights the significant role of individual companies in global carbon emissions. 

Kate Smith, a self-proclaimed word nerd who relishes the power of language to inform, entertain, and inspire. Kate's passion for sharing knowledge and sparking meaningful conversations fuels her every word.