Proposal to set up an independent expert panel to review net zero targets important to ensure a strong baseline and level playing field for business


Reacting to the United Nations Secretary General’s proposal to set up an independent expert panel to review net zero targets, Nick Molho, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, said: “In the run up to COP26, an increasing number of businesses have recognised the commercial and moral imperative of playing their part to tackle climate change, and have taken on net zero emissions targets. This is welcome. But it is important that there is a strong baseline and level playing field in place that allows investors, businesses, consumers and the public to independently assess the credibility of different commitments and the progress that individual businesses are making to meet them.

Nick Molho added: Ensuring that net zero emissions targets, and the plans to achieve them, are based on scientific, transparent and comparable criteria is not only key to building public and consumer trust, it is also essential to guide investment decisions. An increasing number of investors want to grow their investment in low-carbon technologies, infrastructure and services, and to do so, they need to have a clear picture of businesses’ climate commitments. So, as a business organisation that has always stood for robust targets and disclosure requirements, the Aldersgate Group supports the UN Secretary General António Guterres’ proposal to set up an independent UN-led expert panel to provide recommendations on the most credible ways in which businesses should set net zero targets.

Nick Molho concluded: To be effective, an independent UN panel should build on the most credible target setting frameworks that exist already, such as the Science-Based Target Initiative, as a lot of work has already gone into identifying what constitutes robust, science-based criteria. Providing independent recommendations and guidance on how businesses should develop their net zero transition plans and report on the progress they are making against their targets would also be welcome.”