Almost two-in three FTSE100 firms are now committed to ending their carbon emissions by 2050, after a new group of companies recently signed up to a United Nations campaign.
Sixty FTSE100 firms have now signed up to the UN’s Race to Zero campaign, with bluechip companies like Barclays, AstraZeneca, Coca Cola HBC and HSBC all on board.
The commitments line up with the government’s ambition to be carbon neutral by 2050.
The market capital of those involved is more than £1.2 trillion, while their combined annual turnover is £700bn.
The campaign is being overseen by Tory MP Andrew Griffith, who said “Britain’s leading businesses are sending a clear signal to world leaders at COP26 that now is the time to act”.
“As the world seeks bold solutions to combat climate change, we need businesses of all sizes to put the environment at the heart of their operations, making tangible climate commitments that helps chart our path to net zero emissions by 2050,” he said.
Thirty-seven firms had made the commitment as of 31 August, with a further 13 signing up to the net-zero pledge in the two months leading up to the UN’s Cop26 climate change summit in Glasgow.
Hotel and restaurant company Whitbread and multinational tobacco company Imperial Brands are among the firms to sign up over the past month.
Tony Danker, CBI director-general, said: “Only by committing to serious and lasting action can firms shoulder their responsibility to reverse climate change and keep the 1.5c target alive.
“Today’s landmark announcement – which sees over half of FTSE100 companies commit to eliminating their contribution to carbon emissions by 2050 – sends a crystal-clear signal – business is ready to do its part.”
The announcement comes after Rishi Sunak yesterday revealed that City firms will soon be forced to publish detailed plans to reach net-zero.
Speaking at the finance ministers meeting at Cop26, Sunak said the UK has a “responsibility to lead the way” on decarbonising the City and will urge firms to “mobilise private finance quickly and at scale”.