Some companies, like the ones in the fossil fuel sector, will need to radically change the core of their business models. There is no workaround.

What are companies doing until 2050?

Most pledges have 2050 as their target date. That’s because of the scientific consensus that, if the world can stop adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by then, we should be able to hold warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Beyond that level, the dangers of global warming — including worsening floods, droughts, wildfires and ecosystem collapse — grow considerably.

But it’s a long way to 2050. Experts say any credible pledge should have short- and medium-term targets, too, for every five or ten years. Pratima Divgi, who heads the capital markets department for CDP North America, said interim targets were useful for many reasons, not just measuring performance.

“In some cases, it’s about understanding why certain strategies that you’re using may or may not be working,” she said.

Setting and working through targets transparently is also key for shareholders and civil society to assess progress.

What are companies including in their targets?

The largest share of emissions tied to a company’s business most likely happen somewhere outside that company. For example, extracting the raw materials needed to manufacture a product. Or, home delivery.

Take JBS, the world’s largest meatpacker. Emissions from their offices and slaughterhouses are only 3 percent of their total emissions. The rest are tied to the thousands of farms that supply them with cattle, according to a recent analysis by the Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy, a research organization based in Minnesota.

This content was originally published here.


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