Thursday 08 December 2022 - 7:21:46 am

UN chief names panel to probe companies' climate efforts


NEW YORK, 31st March, 2022 (WAM) -- The Secretary General of the United Nations has announced the appointment of an expert panel led by Canada's former environment minister to examining net-zero pledges by the private sector.

"Governments have the lion's share of responsibility to achieve net-zero emissions by mid-century," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, adding that this was particularly true for the Group of 20 major emerging and industrialised economies that account for 80 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions.

"But we also urgently need every business, investor, city, state and region to walk the talk on their net-zero promises," he said.

The 16-member panel will make recommendations before the end of the year on the standards and definitions for setting net-zero targets, how to measure and verify progress and ways to translate that into international and national regulations.

In addition to examining net-zero pledges by the private sector, it will also scrutinise commitments made by local and regional governments that do not report directly to the UN.

However it will not "name and shame" individual companies, UN climate envoy Selwin Hart said.

The panel includes prominent Australian climate scientist Bill Hare, South Africa-based sustainable finance expert Malango Mughogho and the former long-time governor of China's central bank, Zhou Xiaochuan.

It will be chaired by Catherine McKenna, who was Canada's minister of environment and climate change from 2015 to 2019.

WAM/Hatem Mohamed