Companies sign up en masse to "science-based" carbon targets

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Kellogg and Enel among 114 companies whose carbon pledges have been approved by Science Based Targets initiative

More than 110 firms, including household names Coca Cola and Procter & Gamble, have now adopted targets in line with the science on how to keep global warming below 2C, the Science Based Targets initiative announced today.

The initiative, backed by CDP, World Resources Institute (WRI), WWF, and UN Global Compact, encourages companies to set ambitious carbon targets in line with recommendations of the UN's scientific advisory body the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Dell, Enel, Kellogg, General Mills, NRG Energy and Sony are among the 114 companies that have signed up to the initiative, meaning the initiative has exceeded its target of recruiting 100 companies by the end of 2015. The number of companies to have signed up almost doubled since September, after a flurry of businesses made new emissions reduction commitments at the Paris Climate Summit.

The 114 participating companies have combined annual emissions of at least 476 million tonnes CO2 - equivalent to the yearly emissions of 125 coal-fired power plants - and represent $932bn in total combined profits in 2014, the group said.

"Many of the world's leading companies are meeting here in Paris to discuss how they can embed science-based climate change targets into their businesses," said David Nussbaum, chief executive of WWF-UK. "Their efforts will have a significant impact and we hope that this momentum will help raise the ambition needed in the Paris climate deal."

A series of new targets were signed off today at the Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA) business focus event in Paris, including a pledge by Kellogg to reduce its emissions intensity 15 per cent by 2020 from a 2015 baseline and its absolute value chain emissions 20 per cent by 2030. Meanwhile, American energy giant NRG Energy commited to reduce its absolute emissions 50 per cent by 2030 compared to 2014 levels. Italian utility Enel pledged a 25 per cent reduction in emissions for each kWh produced by 2020 compared to 2007 levels, backed by the decommissioning of 13GW of its fossil power plants in Italy.

"As a global energy company, Enel feels called to rapidly modify long lasting business as usual habits and take the lead in the fast transformation of the energy infrastructure, committed to reach carbon neutrality by 2050," said Francesco Starace, chief executive and general manager of Enel, in a statement. "This is consistent with the level of decarbonisation required to limit global warming to 2C."

In related news, the WRI will today also launch its new CAIT Climate Data Explorer Business platform, a new database of corporate emissions and emission reduction targets designed to make it easier to compare businesses' climate policies.

This article is part of BusinessGreen's Road to Paris hub, hosted in association with PwC.

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