A clutch of MNCs committing to climate action is laudable, more should emulate them

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Published: July 27, 2019 12:33:04 AM

The new targets are a wake-up call to the society that the previous targets are not working out.

climate change, united nations, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Mahindra Group, MNC, greenhouse gases, climate targets, UN Global Compact, Unilever, carbon footprintThe new targets are a wake-up call to the society that the previous targets are not working out.

The UN has just put out a statement saying 28 MNCs have committed to climate targets in keeping with the goal of containing warming to 1.5oC above pre-industrial levels. Some of the companies include Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Levi Strauss and Co, Unilever, Vodafone Plc and Mahindra Group. The hope that is being kindled from these initiatives of the companies is that it will inspire more corporate leaders to follow, and even countries to come up with enhanced nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to meet the 1.5oC target as opposed to 2oC that the Paris Agreement targets. The new targets for tackling climate change states that the world will have to limit its greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions by 45% in the coming 11 years and will have to bring it down to zero by 2050.

The new targets are a wake-up call to the society that the previous targets are not working out. The companies will be responsible to share their implementation procedures also with the UN Global Compact, though no sanctions or penalties will be issued for non-compliance. Given how manufacturing companies like Levi Strauss and Unilever are likely to have a massive environmental footprint, this voluntary commitment is laudable. However, much will depend on actual implementation, because non-compliance won’t impose material costs, at least in the short term. India, which has a relatively ambitious set of INDCs, has stated that it has taken leadership position as far as the fight against climate change is concerned—maybe, if more of India Inc were to pledge to reduce its carbon footprint, a significant dent can be made.

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