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Companies are on a collision course with the climate

None of the 29 companies that Dutch Milieudefensie has asked for its climate plans is on track to achieve the climate goals, according to the environmental organization. These include banks, pension funds, steel producer Tata Steel, meat processor Vion, Ahold Delhaize, DSM and Boskalis.

The companies sometimes have no idea of ​​their full CO2 emissions and are not always transparent about it, says the research agency NewClimate Institute, which analyzed the plans at the request of Milieudefensie.

Milieudefensie asked the companies for their climate plans after the organization won a lawsuit against Shell last May. The judge then ruled that Shell must reduce CO2 emissions by 45 percent in 2030 compared to 2019.

The judge also ruled that Shell has a “weighty best efforts obligation” to reduce the emissions that suppliers and customers cause with their products – also known as indirect emissions or scope 3 emissions.

Supplier emissions

There is a lot to do about scope 3 emissions. Many companies say they cannot be held responsible for what suppliers and users of their products emit. Shell also maintains that it is not feasible to also reduce the emissions of customers and is therefore appealing against the judge’s ruling.

Milieudefensie says that the entire chain can make great strides and measured the 29 other companies against the same yardstick as Shell. Their targets for reducing scope 3 emissions have therefore also been examined. The NewClimate Institute research shows that the companies will then, on average, not achieve more than a 19 percent CO2 reduction by 2030.

The EU member states have agreed with each other that this reduction must be 55 percent. In the Netherlands, the aim is even 60 percent, according to the coalition agreement

Not transparent

According to the NewClimate Institute researchers, many companies lack transparency and sometimes insight into the total emissions.

In particular, companies that depend on the fossil industry, such as Boskalis, Vitol and Vopak, should include the emissions of the end-users of their products, the agency says, because those end users are inextricably linked to their revenue model.

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