A recent report from ESG Book reveals that the vast majority of the world’s biggest companies have made little progress in reducing their planet-heating emissions over the past five years, putting the world at risk of catastrophic climate change. The report also highlights the alarming trend of large companies either contributing to extreme levels of warming or not disclosing their greenhouse gas emissions at all, according to CNN.
According to the leading sustainability data provider, ESG Book, only 22 percent of the world’s 500 largest public companies, based on market value, have taken actions in line with the Paris Agreement’s objective of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. This marks a marginal improvement from the 18 percent recorded in 2018, as reported by CNN.
Climate scientists emphasize that a rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius in the average global temperature is a crucial tipping point. Beyond this threshold, the likelihood of extreme flooding, droughts, wildfires, and food shortages significantly increases.
The report reveals that 45 percent of these major companies are aligned with a warming of at least 2.7 degrees Celsius, a disastrous level that could expose billions of people to dangerously hot conditions. This figure represents a decline from 61 percent in 2018, indicating a worrisome trend of insufficient action and commitment.
CNN reported ESG Book CEO Daniel Klier as saying, “Our data presents a clear message: We need to do more, and we need to do it quickly. Without a fundamental change in the way the global economy operates, it’s not obvious how we see a significant shift.”
The victims of the climate crisis are often those who reside in the lowest socioeconomic strata, especially those living in areas with inadequate drainage systems. Marginalised communties face multiple challenges as a result of climate change, including increased vulnerability to flooding, water contamination, and the spread of waterborne diseases. Due to their limited resources and lack of access to proper infrastructure, they are left defenseless against the intensifying impacts of climate change.