Oct 18, 2022 - Energy & Environment

A "disturbing" gap in corporate climate plans

Illustration of a hundred dollar bill with an earthquake crack down the middle.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Huge privately held companies trail shareholder-owned counterparts by a "disturbing distance" in setting climate targets and plans to meet them, a new analysis finds.

Driving the news: A joint report from Net Zero Tracker examined the 100 largest public and private companies by revenue.

  • Sixty-nine of the top 100 publicly traded companies have net-zero emissions targets, compared to 32 of the largest private firms.
  • Among those with targets, 73% of the public companies have published plans to meet them, compared to just 13% of their private counterparts.
  • You can see a snapshot of some big sectors above, and check out more graphics.

Why it matters: The combined annual revenue of the top 100 privately held companies is over $4 trillion, or 5% of the global economy, the report states.

The intrigue: Public companies facing pressure on climate sometimes dump high-polluting assets, which private players may snap up.

  • "When reputation-conscious publicly-listed companies divest polluting assets to private firms, there is no overall reduction in the GHG emissions related to these assets," the report states.

Read the analysis.

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