70 of Ireland’s biggest companies have now committed to setting carbon-reduction targets based on climate science, by signing a low-carbon pledge overseen by Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI), a not for profit organisation.
The number of companies signed up to the pledge has increased from 47 in 2019, when it was first launched.
Companies signing the pledge must commit to setting Science-Based Targets (SBTs) no later than 2024 – and review their indirect and supply chain emissions.
This includes their entire carbon footprint – and must be in line with the Paris Agreement and the latest IPCC findings.
The ultimate goal of the pledge is to achieve carbon neutrality.
A report published today by PwC, in partnership with BITCI, shows that the companies that have signed up to the pledge are making steady progress.
70% are on track to set their science based targets by 2024, with most set to achieve them by 2030 or earlier.
The report reveals that most of those who have not yet set their science based targets have set emission reduction targets – which is a step in the right direction.
“The scientific community has used every possible opportunity to warn us of the irreversible changes we are causing to the planet and our livelihoods,” said Tomás Sercovich, CEO of BITCI.
Mr Sercovich said this is why their targets must be based on science.
“We are making steady progress towards our ambition to have science-based emission reduction targets set no later than 2024.
“This is a mission we cannot afford to fail and we cannot leave anyone behind. Business must act and business must lead,” he said.
The report states that the growing geopolitical uncertainty around the world may impact negatively on the journey towards net zero.
It also highlights a growing gap between ambition and action at the global level.
“Now more than ever we need to close the ambition, emission, power supply and credibility gaps to truly drive urgent and just climate action at every level,” said Eamon Ryan, Minister for Environment, Climate, Communications and Transport.
“As societies and economies bounce back from the pandemic so too have our carbon emissions. We are also now living through extraordinary times with spiralling global energy costs and inflation primarily caused by the invasion of Ukraine,” he added.
Minister Ryan said this decade is our final opportunity to peak and slash emissions.
“Decisive business and political leadership can help us get to net zero much sooner than 2050.
“I call on you to engage in the movement led by Business in the Community Ireland. This is a crucial step toward the transformational change required,” he added.
Kim McClenaghan, Partner, PwC Ireland Energy, Utilities & Sustainability Practice Lead, said it is now time for action.
“It is very encouraging to see the progress of leading Irish firms and their clear commitment towards decarbonising their businesses.
“However, the majority must quickly move from statements of intent to mapping out clear decarbonisation pathways and formally signing up to SBTs,” she said.