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Big companies pledge to reduce their carbon footprint

Big companies pledge to reduce their carbon footprint
Big companies pledge to reduce their carbon footprint

Organizers of the United Nations climate summit said on Sunday that as many as 90 big companies committed to reducing their emissions in order to decrease their carbon footprint contributing to climate change.

A coalition of advocacy groups, We Mean Business, informed reporters that many companies committed to this new initiative ahead of the UN climate summit which would be taking place on Monday.

Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the UN, said that more companies should commit to the same in order to ensure that the whole market eventually shifts its focus to low-carbon future. We Mean Business informed that the total market capitalization of the companies who have joined the movement is over $2.3 trillion.

Companies like Saint-Gobain, Nestle and L’Oreal have pledged to reduce their net carbon emission to zero by 2050. The coalition that French food group Danone, Finnish telecoms company Nokia and British drug maker AstraZeneca Plc are also part of the movement.

Scientists have said that the world would have to reduce its emissions by 50 percent within the next decade in order to prevent excessive heating of the planet. Many countries are currently increasing the production of coal-fired power and fossil fuel companies are developing new oil fields. 

Some experts are not positive of listed companies reducing their carbon emissions by investing in better, perhaps expensive, technologies because many of them operate with the aim to increase shareholder returns. However, youth-led activism and some investors are putting pressure on company leaders to act on climate change.

We Mean Business hopes that large companies taking the responsibility to adhere to emission targets would result in other companies doing the same.

The Paris Summit set a standard for the average global temperature rise as 1.5 degree Celsius. The chief executive of the UN Global Compact, Lise Kingo, said that the strategies of companies should be in accordance with the 1.5 degree Celsius target.