Alecta, AP Pension and Strathclyde Pension Fund are among 137 financial institutions that are backing a campaign for high-emitting companies to set greenhouse gas emission reduction targets following guidance from the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

More than 1,800 companies are being targeted. Combined they are the source of Scope 1 and 2 emissions equivalent to 25% of total global emissions. They also represent 40% of the MSCI ACWI index.

The collaborative engagement campaign is being coordinated by CDP, which runs a global environmental disclosure platform backed by hundreds of institutional investors.

SBTi, which is a collaboration between CDP, World Resources Institute, the WWF, and the UN Global Compact, aims to define and promote best practice in greenhouse gas emissions reduction target-setting.

It offers corporates – and since recently also financial institutions – to have their targets validated as being aligned with the Paris Agreement’s goals of keeping global warming to 1.5°C or well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

CDP said the investors backing its campaign were urging companies to set targets through the SBTi “to ensure that they are independently verified against the de-facto industry standard for science-based corporate climate target setting”.

“This enables investors and companies to raise climate ambition that can be measured in a uniform, comparable way.”

Emily Krep, global director of capital markets at CDP, told IPE: “This is about zeroing in on a well-recognised methodology aligned with science and demonstrating to companies that it is critical for them to provide that commitment and verification.”

The engagement campaign is currently scheduled to run until May next year, when its impact will be evaluated.

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