Assessing the status and trends of net zero target setting across countries, sub-national governments and companies

If Phase One of net zero was about accepting the scientific principle of net zero and Phase Two about pledges aiming to get there, the much more consequential Phase Three is about delivery. For the over 4,000 entities currently in the Net Zero Tracker database, the last year confirms there is nowhere to hide.

In November 2022, the UN Secretary-General’s Expert Group set out what ‘good' net zero looks like; in June 2023, the UNFCCC established the Global Climate Action Recognition and Accountability Framework for non-state entities. Nations, regions and corporates that have set long-term targets, but are doing nothing concrete to meet them, are coming under more scrutiny than ever.

Net Zero Stocktake 2023 is our third comprehensive annual report of net zero target intent and integrity across all nations, all states & regions in the largest 25-emitting countries in the world, all cities with 500,000+ inhabitants, and the largest 2,000 publicly-listed companies in the world. We lift the hood on net zero trends globally, including assessing the number of major governments and companies that have pledged net zero, the number that have not, and, most importantly, those that have pledged but not yet delivered on important markers of credibility.

Key findings

  • Growth in the number of national and subnational net zero targets has slowed, but company net zero target-setting momentum continues at speed
  • The share of large publicly-listed companies with net zero targets has more than doubled in a little over two years, from 417 to 929
  • National government net zero targets underpinned by legislation or policy documents increased substantially in the two-and-half years, from 5% to 75%
  • A significant share of subnational and corporate entities still lack any emission reduction target whatsoever, at the global level and within the G7
  • Collectively, there are very limited signs of improvement in the robustness of subnational and corporate net zero targets and strategies
  • More entities are clarifying their intention to use carbon dioxide removals (CDR) in their value chain
  • Despite having net zero pledges, no major producer countries or companies have committed to phasing out fossil fuels.

Of the over 4,000 entities we currently track, at least 1,475 now have a net zero target, up from 769 in December 2020.

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