Net-zero targets hitting critical mass, but ‘credibility gaps’ must be addressed

By Matt Mace on Edie

A new report analysing national, regional and corporate approaches to net-zero has found that more than 90% of global GDP is covered by such targets, but that more robust plans and efforts to cut emissions immediately need to be introduced.

The analysis uses the Net Zero Tracker database of over 4,000 entities, consisting of cities, corporates, regions and nations. It finds that across these 4,000 entities, 1,178 now have net-zero targets in place, with “most countries” now have a net-zero target.

The report finds that 91% of global GDP is now captured by national government net-zero targets, up from 68% in December 2020. As such, 80% of the global population is now covered by net-zero targets, up from 52% compared to December 2020.

This is also being reflected in the corporate sphere, with more than one-third (702) of the world’s largest publicly traded companies having net-zero targets. This is an increase of almost 300 companies compared to two years ago.

However, despite the mainstreaming of net-zero targets, the analysis finds there are major credibility gaps that need to be addressed by corporates and government actors alike.

Frederic Hans, climate policy analyst at NewClimate Institute and the report co-lead said:  “The growth of net-zero targets has provided a governance framework of unprecedented scale and scope – carving out an achievable path to global decarbonisation.

“But our analysis clearly shows major flaws in current net-zero target-setting practice across all entities.”

On the corporate front, just 35% of companies with net-zero targets “meet the minimum procedural starting line criteria”, as defined by the UN’s Race to Zero initiative. Companies are failing to publish net-zero plans and deliver immediate emissions reductions, the report notes.

Read the full story on edie here.