Net zero targets not enough to tackle climate threat

There is concern in the global business community that simply reaching net zero targets will not be enough to address the threat of climate change, according to the Climate Confidence Barometer.

Over half (59 per cent) of surveyed members do not think that meeting net zero targets will be sufficient to tackle climate change.  

The barometer, a benchmark to measure climate confidence within the global business community, released by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBSCD), revealed that only 61 per cent of respondents believe Australia will meet their 2050 Net Zero targets.

This is in stark contrast to the 91 per cent that believe Europe will achieve theirs, and the 71 per cent that are confident North America will reach their 2050 targets.

Despite the lack of confidence in some governments to reach their targets, WBSCD members were far more hopeful when it came to the targets of their own businesses, with 98 per cent believing they will meet net zero targets by 2050.

Andrew Peterson, Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD) CEO, said despite the high levels of confidence amongst members in reaching their own targets, most are concerned these actions will not be enough.

“The Barometer showed that the attitude among members to tackle climate change has changed significantly. Five years ago, just 5 per cent of members said that taking action was beneficial to their bottom line. Today, that number has increased almost six-fold to 29 per cent, while 73 per cent said climate action will be a cost benefit to their business within the next five years.”

The survey also revealed that 57 per cent of respondents said their companies are on schedule to reach their targets but many had low confidence in key areas such as ensuring their supply chain is sustainable, implementing carbon pricing and incentivizing suppliers to make net zero commitments.

The UN’s emissions gap report for 2021 was also released this week and revealed that both Paris Agreement pathways will be broken, as current commitments will result in a 2.7C temperature increase above pre-industrial levels by 2100.

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