Backing utilities’ net-zero ambition with intermediary targets

Electric utilities are among the main contributors to the global GHG emissions due to their reliance on heavy use of fossil fuels. Consequently, the strength of their commitment to achieving net-zero in accordance with the Paris Agreement, as well as credibility of their decarbonisation strategies are of vital interest to the global community and investors. However, in general the last five years brought no significant change in emissions from the top contributors to the climate change in this sector. Out of 30 biggest emitters, 12 (40%) have increased their scope 1 and 2 emissions since signing of the Paris Agreement.

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Long road ahead to net zero for oil and gas majors

The world’s largest oil and gas companies have a main role to play in transition to a net zero emissions economy. Our bi-annual engagement dialogues with 16 of them shows some positive steps forward in terms of climate commitments, target setting and implementation of strategies. However, during the last five years the total direct emissions from the most emitting oil and gas companies increased by 12%.

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10 key points in the new Net Zero Investor Frameworks

Climate change has become the most important ESG issue for institutional investors, corporations, cities, and nations. And “Net Zero” is the new narrative to describe the ambition of being aligned with the Paris Agreement or 1.5-degree goal. All around the world, thousands of organizations are committing themselves to achieve the state of “Net Zero in 2050 or sooner”, where they achieve an overall balance between emissions produced and emissions taken out of the atmosphere.

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Climate Series: Oil and gas preparing for a carbon-constrained world – leaders and laggards

The investor pressure on oil and gas companies to address climate change as seen in the latest proxy voting season has mounted like never before. In May, BP shareholders, representing over 99% of the votes, passed a resolution asking the company to align its business strategy and investments with the Paris Agreement. When a similar resolution was blocked by Exxon, who had asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to reject it, investors urged a vote to split the chief executive officer and board chairman roles as protest.

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Climate Series: Decarbonisation of Cement and Steel Sectors

With their widespread use across multiple sectors, from construction and infrastructure to energy and transportation, cement and steel are central to modern economy. They are also inherently energy and carbon-intensive. Taken together, those two sectors account for up to 15% of global CO2 emissions, and as the world’s population grows, emissions are only projected to increase.

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Climate Series: Facing the Dilemma with Coal Divestments

Still more institutional investors are divesting from coal companies to protect their investments against stranded assets. It is understandable, because most coal companies are not aligned with the well below two-degree goal. However, it raises a dilemma, because the reduced investor owners’ pressure on the coal majors due to divestment can make it more difficult to reach the Paris Agreement. This third blog in our climate series presents the results of Engagement International’s engagement with coal companies over the past three years, which can further inform investors’ strategies to the controversial industry.

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