With scientists calling for urgent action on climate change following another year of devastating wildfires and floods, November’s COP26 summit is considered critical. The gathering of world leaders marks the first formal five-year review of emissions reduction commitments since the Paris Agreement. Unfortunately, current pledges by governments fall far short of where we need to be to align with the Paris goals, and we are running out of time in which to fix this.
In EOS’s Q3 2021 Public Engagement Report, which takes a detailed look at the climate crisis, Bruce Duguid, head of stewardship at EOS, explains what’s at stake at COP26, and what we want to see from policymakers. He explains how EOS has advocated for changes to public policy and market best practice over the past two years, including asking governments to commit to more ambitious climate targets. EOS has also engaged intensively with companies around the globe, urging them to put in place strategies that are consistent with the Paris goals, alongside targets aligned with a 1.5°C pathway.
In previous years, engagement has mainly focused on the biggest emitting sectors such as oil and gas, utilities and steel. Next year EOS will widen this to include vital sectors such as food and agriculture, the apparel industry and its supply chain, and banks, which need to align their lending portfolios to 1.5°C, in step with investors. “We believe that escalation of engagement will be increasingly important to ensure that companies make the necessary changes at the pace required,” he says.
Sticking with the environmental theme, EOS also highlights the climate challenge for China, which is thought to account for over a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, and outlines the discussions we are having with companies and policymakers to accelerate the energy transition in Japan.
In addition to the focus on climate, engager Emma Berntman sets out why antimicrobial resistance is a growing public health threat, and what animal health companies and food producers can do to address this. “At a minimum, animal health companies should remove growth promotion indications on labels and the highest priority critically important antibiotics from their portfolios, and ensure they have guidelines for responsible marketing at global best practice levels, regardless of local regulation,” she says.
Finally, engager Hannah Shoesmith identifies some of the key issues to come out of the voting season across Asia and other emerging markets.
To find out more, read the EOS Q3 Public Engagement Report.