Young protesters take part in the Fridays For Future rally in Glasgow, Scotland on November 5, 2021, during climate summit COP26.
Daniel Leal-Olivas | AFP | Getty Images
LONDON — Big businesses are beholden to shareholders financially, but there is currently no requirement to disclose climate-related achievements — or lack of them.
Accountability has been a big topic at climate summit COP26, ongoing in Glasgow, Scotland. Per Heggenes, chief executive of the IKEA Foundation, told CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick last week that firms that don’t adopt climate targets “should be discriminated against.”
COP stands for Conference of the Parties, and this year’s meeting comes six years after the landmark Paris accord was signed by nearly 200 countries to limit rising global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to “pursue efforts” to cap heating at 1.5 degrees Celsius. Several agreements have so far been made, such as a commitment to end deforestation by 2030 and reduce methane emissions by 30% by the same year.
As well as government pledges, corporate reputation is also set to stimulate progress, with U.K. Finance Minister Rishi Sunak announcing that by 2023, it will be mandatory for most large British firms to publish a “clear, deliverable” plan outlining how they plan to decarbonize.
However, the commitments made will not be mandatory — instead, the market will “determine if these plans are adequate or credible,” according to an online statement. “Investors,…