As the world faces the urgent need to fight climate change and achieve the goals set by the Paris Agreement, a new report by Zurich Insurance Group and the global insights agency Horizon Group sheds light on the progress and challenges businesses face on their journey to the net. -zero emissions.
The report, titled “Accelerating Climate Change: Long-term thinking for near-term action,” draws attention to the alarming fact that the world is falling short of the targets of the Paris Agreement, which has the potential for warming. the world to exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius as early as 2040.
The associated risks of climate change are increasing, as emphasized by Lars Henneberg, VP and Head of Risk Management at AP Moller-Maersk, who says that “the average cost of physical damage and disruption of business due to climate change risks is expected to increase by 130% in 2050, compared to a 2020 baseline.
The report is based on insights gained from the Sustainability Executives Survey, which involved 668 executives responsible for sustainability in their companies.
It revealed that businesses around the world are committed to achieving net-zero emissions and are actively working on short-term transition plans. However, they have many obstacles in this endeavor. The main obstacle identified, mentioned by half of all surveyed companies, is the high cost and scale of capital expenditure required for the transition to net-zero.
Other major challenges include the lack of viable technological solutions, regulatory barriers, and difficulties in measuring and monitoring the impact of their efforts.
Matt Holmes, Group Head of Political and Government Affairs in Zurich, emphasized the critical role of policymakers in supporting the climate change efforts of businesses. He emphasized the need for systematic, economic interventions such as carbon pricing mechanisms, which can leverage capital markets and stimulate innovation and decarbonization on a large scale.
Holmes outlined three priorities for government action: creating policy certainty, accelerating investment in mitigation and adaptation, and promoting innovation.
Additional key findings in the report highlight the varying levels of commitment and readiness across the racing industry in the race towards sustainability. Notably, 77% of surveyed companies have taken proactive steps by establishing active net-zero transition plans, which shows a significant collective effort to reduce carbon footprints.
However, the trend a trend a trend Another trend is in the transport sector, where only 37% of companies form nets -zero plans, signaling the need for swift action in this vital industry.
In addition, the report shows that 85% of companies are preparing to implement climate adaptation measures within the next five years, indicating a growing awareness of the need to prepare for the effects of climate change.
Heavy manufacturing leads the adaptation initiatives, which emphasize the active stance of the sector, while the agricultural sector develops at a relatively slow pace, suggesting the need for more joint efforts in this field. .
Importantly, the report highlights the important roles that boards of directors, investors, and regulators play in promoting and driving significant net-zero actions within companies, highlighting the interconnectedness of business, governance, and environmental management in dealing with the climate crisis.