Dozens of corporate giants agree to cut emissions as UN turns to climate

Dozens of corporate giants agree to cut emissions as UN turns to climate
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Nearly 90 major companies have pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions ahead of a major United Nations climate summit on Monday, organizers said.

We Mean Business, a coalition of climate advocacy groups, announced Sunday that companies including Nestlé, L’Oréal and French building material manufacturer Saint-Gobain agreed to cut emissions to net zero by 2050.

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Others such as telecom company Nokia and British drug manufacturer AstraZeneca vowed to align production with the 2015 Paris agreement’s goal to limit the increase in average global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

We Mean Business said the 87 companies that have responded to a U.N. call to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have a collective market capitalization of more than $2.3 trillion.

"It is encouraging to see many first-movers in the private sector align with civil society and ambitious Governments by stepping up in support of a 1.5°C future," U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement. "Now we need many more companies to join the movement, sending a clear signal that markets are shifting."

Lise Kingo, chief executive of the U.N. Global Compact, said that the "bold companies are leading the way towards a positive tipping point where 1.5°C-aligned corporate strategies are the new normal for businesses and their supply chains around the world."

While some experts have expressed skepticism about whether companies that prioritize shareholder value can follow through on the climate commitments, the companies have also been under internal pressure from investors to reduce environmental impact, Reuters noted.  

This report was updated at 8:39 a.m.