The latest climate change news from WWF

GLAND, Switzerland (16 July 2024): WWF has made a submission to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to contribute to the formation of their advisory opinion on climate change. WWF’s submission emphasizes that countries also have a legal duty to protect and restore biodiversity, in addition to the obligation to tackle the climate crisis, recognizing that biodiversity is both threatened by rising emissions, and also part of the solution to securing a stable climate. In March 2023, following a campaign led by Vanuatu, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution requesting an advisory opinion from the ICJ on the obligations of countries to address the climate crisis under international law. It also asked the Court to consider the legal consequences of failing to act. Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF Global Climate and Energy Lead, and COP20 President, said: “There are already legal obligations for countries to tackle the climate crisis, in addition to the economic, social, environmental and humanitarian imperatives. The Court’s opinion has the potential to establish this in international law with more authority than any previous court ruling on climate change. With most countries falling far short of their obligations to reduce emissions and protect and restore nature, this advisory opinion has the potential to send a powerful legal signal that states need to fulfil duties to act. “WWF hopes to encourage the Court and countries making their own submissions to recognise that nature is a climate ally, and that action to protect our natural world must take place in parallel with action to reduce emissions, to ensure we have a living planet for future generations.” The WWF submission emphasizes that biodiversity loss impacts humanity’s ability to mitigate the effects of climate change itself. Certain ecosystems and species play a significant role in the removal and sequestration of CO2 from the atmosphere and can reduce the risks associated with natural disasters exacerbated by climate change. It also highlights that climate and nature action are essential to ensure that existing international human rights law obligations are upheld. These include the right to a healthy environment, the right to health and life, the right to an adequate standard of living including food and water, and the right to non-discrimination. With regard to the consequences for states who do not fulfil their obligations, WWF calls on the Court to establish a duty for countries to stop harming nature, and adopt the “polluter pays” principle in the compensation of states that have suffered significant, often irreversible damage, resulting from pollution by greenhouse gas emissions. WWF also encourages all countries to take immediate measures to ensure their compliance with their international obligations to preserve, protect, and restore biodiversity, and the compliance of other countries. When the ICJ publishes its final opinion, it will add to other significant legal rulings from international and national courts that have underlined the legal obligations of states to act on climate and nature. One example is the recent ruling by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (which WWF also made a submission to) which found that states have a legal obligation to tackle the climate crisis to preserve marine ecosystems. Another is the European Court of Human Rights that found human rights were being compromised due to lack of climate action. Edie Hofmeister, Co-Chair of the International Bar Association (IBA) Business Human Rights Committee, said: ​“In the wake of other significant international rulings that we’ve seen this year, including the ITLOS Advisory Opinion on Climate Change and judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in Verein KlimaSeniorinnen Schweiz and Others v. Switzerland, the ICJ Advisory Opinion represents a further example of international courts being used as a tool to clarify states’ obligations with respect to climate change under international law, and to identify the legal consequences of failing to fulfil such obligations.” WWF was assisted with its submission to the ICJ by international law firm Squire Patton Boggs and barristers from 20 Essex Street, Matrix Chambers, Brick Court Chambers, Doughty Street Chambers and No 5 Chambers. NOTE: As WWF is not a country, it does not have legal standing before the Court. But its statement will be made available for all countries and the ICJ itself to consider. The ICJ announced on 12 April 2024 that it had received 91 submissions from countries, the highest number of written statements ever to have been filed in advisory proceedings before the Court. The ICJ indicated it may make the written statements accessible to the public on or after the opening of the oral proceedings in the case. No date is yet set for the oral proceedings. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. ends For interviews and further information on WWF’s submission, contact: Robin Harvey Izrael Muhamad Or
Posted: July 15, 2024, 12:00 am
Many frameworks have been suggested to assess transition plans’ ambition, credibility, and feasibility. However, the lack of one clear reference framework paves the way for inconsistencies in transition plans and the risk of greenwashing. This working paper, produced and published by the University of Zürich and the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford, proposes a set of 64 common ground indicators from 28 different transition plan disclosure frameworks to comprehensively assess transition plans and develop a novel natural language processing (NLP)–based tool to automate the assessment of companies’ disclosures. This can help investors and financial supervisors assess transition risks while supporting companies’ disclosure efforts. Applying the tool to 143 reports from the carbon-intensive CA100+ companies, it has found that companies tend to disclose more indicators related to target setting (talk) but fewer indicators related to the concrete implementation of strategies (walk). The results demonstrate that AI machine learning can be used to generate a positive impact on the transition towards a more sustainable economy by identifying the elements of transition plans that require further scrutiny and/or effort. Based on this working paper, the Universities of Zurich and Oxford are currently developing an online AI based web tool to help financial supervisors, asset managers and financial institutions evaluate the net-zero transition plans of the companies they are investing in. Commissioned and co-produced by WWF´s Greening Financial Regulation Initiative the online toolwill help investors assess whether companies’ transition plans are robust with science-based targets and a credible pathway to achieve net zero by 2050. The online tool is expected to be launched over the coming months and will be the starting point for further leveraging new technologies in sustainable finance.For example, the assessment of transition plans could be used by financial regulators in their supervisory practices or to investigate whether the risk of greenwashing is reflected in stock returns.
Posted: May 14, 2024, 12:00 am
Then join WWF and CDP’s public consultation for the updated open-source CDP-WWF Temperature Scoring Methodology (version 1.5) and contribute to the development and update of the method. What does the methodology do? The CDP-WWF Temperature Scoring method enables measurement of a financial portfolio’s, a company’s, or a company value chain’s contribution to global warming. It does this byconverting corporate greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets into a clear and comparable metric - a temperature score expressed in degrees Celsius of global warming based on IPCC AR6 scenarios. These temperature scores are then aggregated to company and portfolio or value chain level, if applicable. Background The CDP-WWF Temperature Scoring Methodology was launched in 2020 (under the name Temperature Rating methodology). It is the basis of an open-source tool that business and financial institutions can freely use to measure Paris Agreement alignment and to set climate targets, for example, under the Science Based Targets initiative’s (SBTi) framework. Since the launch, the adoption of the CDP-WWF methodology has grown steadily, and today, it is one of the SBTi methods for target-setting for financial institutions. It is also implemented by data providers such as Bloomberg, Clarity AI, and Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) for their implied temperature rise (ITR) solutions. Method update andpublic consultation This summer, WWF and CDP plan to launch an updated version of this methodology. To ensure the method is robust and useful, we are inviting NGOs, academia, data providers, regulators, financial institutions and other businesses and stakeholders, globally and from all sectors to a public consultation. The objective is to obtain feedback on key updates to the methodology. For a more immersive experience, participants are also welcome to try out the updated ITR tool, provided by WWF. The public consultation period will run from May 23rd 2024 to June 22nd 2024. The main changes and improvements in the updated version 1.5 are: Using IPCC AR6 climate model simulations and scenarios for the linear regression models used as benchmarks Clarifying and enhancing the target timeframe definition Updating the default score from 3.2C to 3.4C for companies without valid targets Introducing a 1.5C temperature floor Changing Linear Annual Reduction (LAR) to Compound Annual Reduction (CAR) Introducing a specific Scope 2 benchmark and single scope level assessments Adding further transparency on the methodology’s purpose, rationales, and key limitations Who does this concern? The primary stakeholders are likely to be, but are not limited to, financial and ESG analysts, sustainability experts, portfolio managers, corporate sustainability managers and climate experts, regulators, and academic researchers. What to do now? Please read the consultation draft methodology here Submit your feedback and commentshereduringthe consultation(May 23rdto June 22nd) Try out the WWF Implied Temperature Rise Tool (ITR) here Questions? Please contact WWF at
Posted: May 23, 2024, 12:00 am
This is an open letter sent by WWF to the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action ahead of their next meeting during the World Bank / International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings, taking place from 17-19 April 2024, in Washington DC. This year provides a great opportunity to restructure the financing of climate action in order tostrengthen global resilience, as well as address increasing needs for solutions. Therefore, I'd like to offer my views on key finance issues to be addressed this year: delivering on existing commitments; at least doubling adaptation finance and financing losses and damages; no double counting with resources for biodiversity and, most importantly, the new collective quantitative goal and making finance flows consistent with 1.5 degrees. Delivering on existing commitments: During the 16th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which took place in 2010 in Cancún, developed countries committed to jointly mobilize US$100 billion per year, starting in 2020, to address the needs of developing countries. Delivery of this goal is an important step in building trust between parties to the Convention and will be an important stepping stone in reinforcing a global architecture of climate finance. This effort should continue until 2025 and since the goal was not delivered in at least the years 2021 and 2022 – it should also make up for any existing financial gaps. At least doubling adaptation finance and financing losses and damages: During the 26th Conference of the Parties in 2021 in Glasgow, parties agreed to double finance for adaptation in developing countries – it should be based on 2019 adaptation finance level and be delivered by 2025. For many communities, especially those most vulnerable to climate change, adaptation is the only way to avoid the worst impacts of changing climate and not suffer the worst brunt of possible losses and damages. And avoiding losses and damages is critical to safeguard any development work done in previous years – to avoid any steps back. While the new goal is discussed, we cannot forget about existing architecture. Last year saw the successful establishment of a new fund dedicated to loss and damage during the 28th Conference of the Parties in Dubai. However, initial replenishment pledges, which amount to less than US$700 million, are underwhelming at best. The possible losses and damages in developing countries alone might reach a level of US$400 billion per year in 2030 if we fail to tackle the required ambitious mitigation action and adaptation measures. To address this, and be an additional measure helping to safeguard any progress made as part of the Sustainable Development Goals, we need robust and ambitious pledges, while not forgetting any adaptation work required – which can lower the final needs. No double counting with biodiversity resources: The Global Biodiversity Framework includes important financial targets, with key milestones for 2025 and 2030. Any double counting between funding commitments for climate and biodiversity must be avoided, while solutions that benefit nature and climate should be prioritized. Although synergies should be maximized, financial commitments should be met separately under both regimes. New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG): This will be the most significant discussion of this year. The NCQG is a goal that was envisioned in the Paris Agreement, and which should replace the existing US$100 billion per year goal – starting from that floor, and starting from the year 2025. Involvement of Ministries of Finance, and especially members of the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action, will be critical in this regard. Your institutions can give a proper mandate to national negotiators and allow for an ambitious outcome, including a sufficient level of finance, especially from public sources. As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessed, there is a need to increase existing climate investments sixfold to allow for a transformation up to the required scale. The new goal should start from a floor of at least US$600 billion per year, taking into account the needs and priorities of the developing countries, and from various new and additional sources. However, the various assessments show the needs of developing countries on the scale of over US$1 trillion per year, and those needs should be taken into account while setting the final amount. Making finance flows consistent with 1.5 degrees: And last, but definitely not least, the Paris Agreement in its Article 2 paragraph 1c envisioned a goal of making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate resilient development. Achievement of this goal is a global responsibility, but Ministries of Finance can take a lead in this regard. WWF expects you to implement the necessary policy reforms to support the transition towards net-zero, nature positive and resilient economies, and introduce regulatory frameworks that incentivize the financial sector to support and finance this transition. Active engagement in the preparation of new Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and creating a clear financing and disclosure framework to make sure that private finance will support the achievement of NDCs will be essential.We need to make sure that all financial flows, both public and private, are aligned with the goal of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5℃ above the pre-industrial levels. This goal, while heavily endangered by inadequate action to date, can still be achieved and for that we need urgent work at the WB/IMF meetings, G7 and the G20, in addition to national level work. We hope that you will take a proactive and ambitious stance and do your part for the world to meet the challenge of climate change. Signed, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal Global Lead Climate and Energy COP20 President Former Minister of Environment for Peru
Posted: April 9, 2024, 12:00 am
(GLAND, Switzerland) 9 April 2024 - Today, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in favour of a group of older women from Switzerland - the Klima Seniorinnen - who had brought the case arguing that their human rights were violated because their government had not done enough to tackle climate change. The Court agreed, ruling in their favour. This is the first time the Court has ruled on climate change. Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF Global Climate and Energy Lead, said: “Climate litigation is a new arena for people to hold their governments to account for climate action - or the lack thereof. While the outcomes have been varied, the historic decision today sends a strong signal to courts all over the world that governments cannot continue to stall climate action.” As of December 2022, there have been more than 2,180 climate-related cases filed in 65 jurisdictions, up from 884 cases in 2017, according to the 2023 Global Climate Litigation Report. “We can no longer consider climate change as just a political issue. It is a moral, and human rights issue too, and so WWF welcomes the decision of the ECHR,” he said. Patrick Hofstetter, WWF Switzerland expert on climate and energy said: The ECHR’s first judgement on the subject of lacking climate action needs to be a late wakeup call not only for Switzerland. It sets a precedent that goes far beyond the Swiss border. Numerous countries are not on track to meet international targets with their climate policy and according to today’s judgement many would be violating human rights. An important decision is also expected this year from the International Court of Justice, which is considering what the obligations of States are with respect to climate change. Public hearings on this are expected to be held later this year. “WWF will make its own submission to the ICJ, responding to the questions posted in the request for an advisory opinion from the UN General Assembly, drawing on our expertise regarding climate change and linkages to nature and biodiversity. We intend to highlight existing states’ obligations to protect nature and biodiversity as key for climate change mitigation and adaptation. We will also outline how greenhouse gas emissions and other observable climate change effects already bring severe harm to nature and people, thereby violating existing international environmental law. And finally, we will also recall the role which nature can also play in helping to tackle climate change,” said Pulgar-Vidal. “We hope governments take note of these court actions and decisions as they prepare for both COP16 and COP29 this year, where crucial decisions must be taken to protect nature and to tackle climate change. Our leaders must not fail us.” ENDS Notes for Editors: Find out more about WWF’s ICJ submission here. KlimaSeniorinen (Swiss Elders for Climate Protection). For further information, contact: Robin Harvey Mandy Woods
Posted: April 9, 2024, 12:00 am
Vanuatu, an idyllic island paradise in the Pacific, is heaven to tourists, but, increasingly, not the same to the residents as the climate crisis ravages island life and livelihoods. The island nation is responsible for less than 1% of all global greenhouse gas emissions, but suffers from disproportionate impacts of rising emissions caused mainly by wealthy, big emitting countries. Coastal erosion, sea-level rise, and increased intensity and frequency of extreme weather events are the most obvious impacts. But the loss of livelihoods and contamination of valuable freshwater by seawater leading to loss of crops - and food insecurity - are part of the daily battle island communities face. So it is not surprising that Vanuatu has been at the forefront of championing ambitious climate action in global fora. But negotiations on climate change only work if everyone does their part. That’s because what happens in China, doesn’t stay in China, and what happens in the U.S. may well be felt thousands of miles away - like in Vanuatu - most harshly. So when legal students from Vanuatu were looking for options, they decided to follow the global legal route. Vanuatu and 18 other champion nations embraced the students' campaign and led a coalition of 132 nations in March 2023 to get the UN General Assembly to adopt a historic resolution for an advisory option from ICJ.In essence, they are asking for an advisory opinion on state’s responsibilities to others as regards climate change. An advisory opinion by the ICJ, while non-binding, could have far-reaching implications for national decisions and for future claims for loss and damage. It also brings into sharp relief the underlying fact that scientists have long warned us about: the burning of fossil fuels – coal, oil, and gas – is the main cause of greenhouse gas emissions which causes global warming. Without drastically reducing global greenhouse gas emissions – at least 43% by 2030 (compared to 2019 baseline), 60% by 2035 and be net-zero by mid-century, the world will not be able to keep global warming to 1.5℃ - we will not be able to avert the worst impacts of climate change. WWF strongly supports, and has long advocated for, ambitious climate action by all countries. In this regard, WWF made an amicus submission to the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in the context of a similar request for an advisory opinion brought to the Court by the Commission of Small Island States in 2023. The ITLOS case is aimed at defining the climate-related obligations of states under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. In its submission to the Tribunal, WWF argued these obligations include rapidly reducing emissions while conserving and restoring the marine environment. WWF will now also make its own submission to the ICJ, responding to the questions posted in the request for an advisory opinion, drawing on its expertise regarding climate change and linkages to nature and biodiversity. We intend to highlight existing states’ obligations to protect nature and biodiversity as key for climate change mitigation and adaptation. We will outline how greenhouse gas emissions and other observable climate change effects already bring severe harm to nature and people, thereby violating existing international environmental law. And finally, we will also recall the role which nature can also play in helping to tackle climate change. On Friday 22nd March, countries provided submissions outlining their views of 1) what the obligations for countries under international law to ensure the protection of the climate system are, and 2) what should be the legal consequences under such obligations. Those submissions should form the basis for the judges to issue their Advisory Opinion. The International Court of Justice is the highest legal body in the UN System. The fact that they agreed to look into climate change and shed light over States' responsibilities is already a victory for those who have long been suffering and campaigned against the harmful impacts it poses to the most vulnerable. This is a unique chance for countries to express their views and make them count in this process. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in the fight against one of the biggest existential threats of our times. No country will be immune from the impacts of climate change, and so it is imperative they all engage in this process. We will need everyone, doing everything if we are to overcome the climate crisis, and this ICJ decision could be the fork in the road that leads us to a different future. Notes: Below are the two questions which the ICJ has to consider: What are the obligations of States under international law to ensure the protection of the climate system and other parts of the environment from anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases for States and for present and future generations. What are the legal consequences under these obligations for States where they, by their acts and omissions, have caused significant harm to the climate system and other parts of the environment, with respect to: (a) States, including, in particular, small island developing States, which due to their geographical circumstances and level of development, are injured or specially affected by or are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change? (b) Peoples and individuals of the present and future generations affected by the adverse effects of climate change?​ Assuming no delays with the first submissions made by countries, they will have an opportunity on 24 June to respond to all the submissions made. The ICJ is planning on holding oral proceedings in The Hague, Netherlands in November or December this year. It is possible for a final decision to be handed down as soon as early 2025. For furtherinformation or interviews, contact: Robin Harvey, or Mandy Jean Woods
Posted: March 25, 2024, 12:00 am
(GLAND, Switzerland) 20 March 2024 - World leaders will gather in Brussels tomorrow for a Nuclear Energy Summit aimed at identifying a role for nuclear energy in the energy transition, addressing energy security and boosting economic development. The meeting is hosted by Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, and the International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grossi. It comes on the heels of a new coalition of more than 20 countries aligned on a Declaration to Triple Nuclear Energy, launched at the UN climate talks in Dubai last year. A core element of the declaration is for coalition members to work together to advance a goal of tripling nuclear energy capacity globally by 2050. However, WWF argues that the idea that nuclear energy can play a key role in reaching the net-zero emissions long-term goal of the Paris Agreement, is a false narrative. Dean Cooper, WWF Global Lead Energy, says: “Let’s be clear – there’s no new dawn for nuclear energy. The truth is that the construction of new nuclear power generation capacity is too slow, too expensive, and too risky to make a difference. It also diverts efforts away from real solutions that are more affordable and will deliver faster. Nuclear energy cannot, and must not, be considered part of the urgently required energy transition. Rather, governments must prioritize investments towards energy efficiency and deploying renewables, such as wind and solar, to decarbonize the grid. These are proven solutions and are currently the cheapest and most sustainable forms of energy.“ Stephan Cornelius, WWF Global Deputy Climate and Energy Lead said: “New national climate plans (or Nationally Determined Contributions, NDCs) are our roadmap to swiftly slashing greenhouse gas emissions to steer the world to a 1.5°C future. At COP28, world leaders committed to triple renewable energy and double energy efficiency – this is our priority. Nuclear power is not in the answer, especially for vulnerable communities who suffer the worst impacts of climate change. Governments must prioritize affordable, sustainable solutions which do the least harm to people and nature.” Notes for editors: Global annual renewable capacity additions increased by almost 50% in 2023, the fastest growth rate in the past two decades. This is the 22nd year in a row that renewable capacity additions set a new record. Globally, solar PV alone accounted for three-quarters of renewable capacity additions worldwide (IEA), enabled by plummeting costs. In 2003, nuclear power generated ~16% of global electricity. Since then, nuclear power has fallen to ~10% of global electricity, and in the absence of significant, successful new-builds, the average age of operating nuclear power plants is now ~31 years old (WWF). Nuclear as a viable energy source has been elevated in global conversations since the energy crisis sparked by the war in Ukraine. WWF supports the global climate goals of reducing global emissions by at least 43% by 2030, and 60% by 2035, and net-zero by 2050. The path to net-zero remains uncertain, however, as many prominent net-zero pathways feature a role for nuclear, including the doubling of nuclear power by 2050. WWF does not support the development of new nuclear plants, as nuclear cannot be delivered at speed and at a viable cost for the rapid energy transition required to keepglobal warming to 1.5℃. WWF supports the extension of the life-span of existing nuclear plants that fulfil the highest safety standards only if the replacement electricity will be based on fossil fuels. For more information, contact: Robin Harvey WWF global media team Mandy Woods
Posted: March 20, 2024, 12:00 am
Excellencies, The Copenhagen Ministerial has proven to be a key milestone for successful negotiations at the Bonn sessions and COPs. In the spirit of contribution, here are a few reflections on what we see as priorities for advancing the climate agenda in 2024 and delivering on the outcomes of the Global Stocktake. Next NDC Cycle - In the context of the UNFCCC, we have been talking about urgency and momentum for many years. After the first Global Stocktake, we are faced with a litmus test for the Paris Agreement in this critical decade. The world can't afford another NDC cycle that does not respond to science, namely collectively reducing CO2 emissions by 43% in 2030 and 60% in 2035 compared to 2019 levels. In this sense, we welcome the launch of the Troika of Presidencies and the Roadmap to Mission 1.5 to significantly enhance international cooperation and the international enabling environment to stimulate ambition in the next round of NDCs. The Copenhagen meeting provides an opportunity for countries to start a list of tangible activities, initiatives, and partnerships, as laid out in the GST outcomes from Dubai. This must send a strong political signal for countries to launch their domestic processes for NDC review and enhancement, leading to the highest possible ambition. Finance: It is imperative that the world agrees on a New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG) for public finance that responds to the needs of developing countries, especially the most vulnerable ones. This outcome can rebuild trust between countries for a strong second round of new and enhanced NDCs that will keep us on a pathway to no more than 1.5°C global warming. A finance package from COP29 should also include scaling up contributions for the Loss and Damage Fund, and the doubling adaptation finance. It must also make finance flows consistent with low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development, as per the Paris Agreement’s article 2.1.c. Energy Transition - The main achievement of the UAE Consensus is the first step towards the end of the fossil fuel era. But much remains to be done. It is crucial that Ministers advance discussions and exchange on how to fulfil the Global Stocktake recommendations. This should be on, among others, tripling renewable energy capacity globally and doubling the global average annual rate of energy efficiency improvements by 2030; and accelerating efforts towards the phase-down of unabated coal power. We think it should also include accelerating efforts globally towards net-zero emission energy systems; transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems; accelerating zero- and low-emission technologies; accelerating and substantially reducing non-carbon-dioxide emissions globally and phasing-out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. These discussions must link such recommendations to NDCs and the New Collective Quantified Goal for public finance. Signed, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal WWF Global Lead Climate and Energy COP20 President Former Minister of Environment, Peru
Posted: March 18, 2024, 12:00 am
The report "Corporate Climate Targets: ensuring the credibility of EU-regulated commitments" includes a detailed description of the legal obligations of companies and financial institutions, as well as methodological recommendations. It also shows that using the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) facilitates target setting and enables companies to comply with related requirements of European regulations. It assesses the alignment of the methodological requirements of SBTi with the EU legal requirements outlined in the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), which provides a framework for mandatory sustainability reporting at the European level. All recommendations and conclusions issued in this report are also in line with the current version of the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD), which is expected to be voted on shortly by EU Member States. According toAntoine Pugliese, Sustainable Finance Advocacy Manager at WWF France: “Strengthening corporate sustainability reporting requirements is a key element of the European Green Deal. The main objective of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) is to provide strategic sustainability data empowering companies to align business models with a sustainable economy and a limitation of global warming to 1.5°C, in line with the Paris Agreement. This first report examines how companies, auditors and supervisors need to ensure the credibility of climate objectives as the first element of a robust transition plan.” Reacting to the report,Anna Notarianni, Group Chief Impact Officer at Sodexosaid: “As the first company in our industry with short and long term climate targets validated by SBTi, Sodexo has consistently led the way in Sustainability. We are proud that our proactive adoption of SBTi-validated targets and trajectories was the right decision to take and will be useful to address emerging regulatory requirements such as CSRD - this new WWF report confirms it.” ForSkender Sahiti-Manzoni, Head of Sustainable Policies & Stakeholder Engagements at La Banque Postale: “The recent WWF report underlines La Banque Postale's ongoing commitment to tackling climate change in the financial sector. By adopting rigorous science-based targets and pathways early on, we are reaffirming our commitment to sustainable transitions while effectively meeting climate target disclosure standards such as the CSRD. This underlines our proactive approach, demonstrated by our commitment to withdraw completely from fossil fuels by 2030 at the latest.” In particular, the report makes the following recommendations: EU institutions and Member States, relevant regulators and supervisors, and assurance providers (auditors) should immediately recommend companies toadopt SBTi-validated climate targets, to both ensure compliance with EU regulatory requirements on corporate climate target setting and reporting, and improve transparency on their projected emissions reductions. TheEU should develop a methodological regulatory frameworkof reference to ensure credible, comparable climate targets aligned with a 1.5°C global temperature increase limit for companies, based on SBTi methodological guidelines and recommendations. Climate targets must be monitored by relevant regulators (national competent authorities) and supervisors who should ensure thatappropriate means are allocatedto achieving these targets and monitor progress on corporate engagements. In this sense, CSDDD represents an essential part of EU sustainability regulation, which should be complemented by the development of a robust Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) process for corporate climate targets. WWF calls for rapid consideration of these recommendations to ensure the ambition and credibility of corporate climate targets, in line with the EU 2030 climate goals, the European Green Deal, and the promotion of long-term climate resilience and financial stability. Key findings of the report: CSRD requirements:the report recalls that the CSRD allows companies to set climate targets, declare whether they are aligned with a limit of 1.5°C global temperature rise, and describe the scenarios used to develop them. These targets must be set in absolute terms to ensure the rapid decarbonization of economic activities, in five-year intervals between 2030 and 2050. This should eventually be complemented by the CSDDD, which, if voted as expected, will also require supervisors to ensure that adequate means are provided by companies to implement their climate targets through transition plans. Compliance of SBTi with European regulations:SBTi is a methodological reference for defining corporate climate objectives. It has been used to validate the objectives of over 4,000 companies and financial institutions in almost 100 countries, with over 3,000 more committed to do it. It enables economic players to ensure that their decarbonization objectives are compatible with a global temperature rise limit of 1.5°C (with little or no overshoot). WWF's analysis shows that SBTi's methodological requirements for the creation, submission and validation of climate targets are aligned with the requirements set out in the CSRD, and are sometimes even more stringent. A facilitated process for setting climate targets: with its well-established presence in the EU and significant coverage of the Union's GHG emissions, SBTi can greatly facilitate the implementation of the CSRD and projected CSDDD requirements for companies and financial institutions to set and publish climate targets. This will help to improve the credibility and comparability of these targets, and better contribute to the EU goal to achieve climate neutrality. Ambitious and credible climate targets also help to improve the resilience and long-term financial stability of companies and financial institutions. The report points out, however, that setting targets alone is not enough to provide a satisfactory assessment of the reality of companies' climate ambitions. Indeed, these targets represent only the first step in the development of corporate climate transition plans, which will be the subject of future WWF reports in 2024.
Posted: March 4, 2024, 12:00 am
Mark Lutes, Senior Advisor, Global Climate Policy, WWF Climate and Energy, said, “WWF is encouraged to see Maersk’s leadership in the shipping industry, as they become the first company to have ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets in line with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C warming limit validated by the Science Based Targets initiative. “Maersk, as one of the largest global shipping companies, has shown that science-based decarbonization targets are possible for the sector. This should serve as a benchmark of ambition for others. “Shipping accounts for around 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and with only 6 years to 2030, when global emissions should have reduced by at least 43%, the urgency to act is clear. It is time for shipping companies to demonstrate commitment to tackling the climate crisis by setting their own targets and taking immediate action to implement them. These targets must be more ambitious than the pathway set out by the International Maritime Organization in their recently approved decarbonization strategy if we are to limit warming to 1.5°C and avert the worst impacts of climate change.”
Posted: February 9, 2024, 12:00 am