Henkel is among 155 major global companies from 34 sectors that have signed a statement urging governments around the world to align their COVID-19 economic aid and recovery efforts with the latest climate science. The companies, which are all part of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), are calling for policies that will build resilience against future shocks by supporting efforts to hold global temperature rise to within 1.5°C (34.7°F) above pre-industrial levels, in line with reaching net-zero emissions well before 2050.
“Now, we need to invest in innovation, scale up the solutions we already have and work with our partners along the value chain towards climate-neutrality,” said Carsten Knobel, Henkel CEO. “To achieve that, we have set ourselves ambitious, science-based targets.”
The business voices are convened by the SBTi and its Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign partners, the UN Global Compact and the We Mean Business coalition. The SBTi, which is a collaboration between CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project), the UN Global Compact, World Resources Institute and WWF, independently assesses and validates corporate climate targets against the latest climate science.
The 155 companies have already set (or committed to set) science-based emissions reduction; Henkel’s targets were recently approved by the SBTi. By signing the statement, the companies are reaffirming that their own decisions and actions remain grounded in science, while calling on governments to “prioritize a faster and fairer transition from a grey to a green economy.”
The joint statement comes as governments around the world are preparing stimulus packages to help economies recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, and as they prepare to submit enhanced national climate plans under the Paris Agreement.
“Governments have a critical role to play by aligning policies and recovery plans with the latest climate science, but they cannot drive a systemic socio-economic transformation alone,” said Lila Karbassi, chief of Programmes at the UN Global Compact and an SBTi board member. “To address the interconnected crises we face, we must work together as an international community to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. As the largest ever UN-backed CEO-led climate advocacy effort, these companies are leading the way in driving ambitious science-based action and advocacy to help reduce vulnerability to future shocks and disasters.”