Over 2,000 governments and businesses have signed up to some form of net-zero commitment, but, in the midst of a ‘code red’ for humanity, 2050 feels a very long way away. Richard Mattison, president of S&P Global Sustainable1, discusses how we can accelerate progress.
In the wake of Cop26, the rhetoric around net zero has stepped up considerably. Corporates of every stripe, along with financial institutions and governments, are putting their net-zero goals front and centre, with an ever-growing number pledging to reach the milestone by 2050.
It is a welcome development in the ongoing battle to address the climate crisis. However, as Richard Mattison, president of S&P Global Sustainable1, points out, 2050 is a “whole generation of leadership away”. Today’s leaders need to be thinking far more about the impact they can make in the shorter term.
“It’s a very unusual situation to be in, where we have more information about the long term than we do about the near term,” he says. “There are over 2,000 governments and companies that have signed up to some kind of net-zero target, but for many of them it’s hard to understand what the near-term pathway looks like. How are they going to allocate capital? What is the right route? What are the right series of actions to take?”
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