A key vote is taking place in the European Parliament’s Environment Committee this Thursday, when MEPs will decide whether or not to include climate in their corporate due diligence directive. Climate experts from Client Earth, Global Witness, Frank Bold, and WWF explain why this matters. The article was authored by Amandine Van den Berghe (ClientEarth), Arianne Griffith (Global Witness), Julia Otten (Frank Bold) and Uku Lilleväli (WWF European Policy Office).
It’s been three years since the European Union vowed to become a climate neutral economy by 2050 – a goal that will be impossible to reach without urgently mobilising the corporate world.
Yet in the absence of specific and enforceable legal standards, there is still a systemic lack of action from the private sector. While there’s been a tidal wave of corporate climate pledges, the work that is needed to achieve these commitments simply isn’t being done.
In a study of the 1,000 largest companies operating in the EU, only 23 per cent of them had strategies to address climate risks, and as few as 13.9 per cent disclosed relevant data on their emission reduction targets.
This means that these companies are not aligned to shareholder expectations, and are missing opportunities to properly manage and mitigate the risk a warming world presents to their business.