UN’s Race to Zero launches net zero transparency tool

Data Explorer created in partnership with Climate Arc and CDP.

Race to Zero, the UN’s umbrella organisation for climate initiatives, has launched a net zero transparency tool with Climate Arc, the climate finance organisation led by Meryam Omi, Legal & General Investment Management’s former head of sustainability.  

Data Explorer, powered by data from environmental disclosure non-profit CDP, discloses information from the largest 500 companies involved in Race to Zero. 

The new tool was created by several players including Climate Arc, which Responsible Investor first reported on in November 2021, and which was launched last year, seeded by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.   

Data Explorer “tracks the progress of companies in meeting the Race to Zero Criteria, including the pace of emissions reductions”, said Wednesday’s announcement.  

It will be used to support Race to Zero’s “global stocktake” process this year, which aims to assess the world’s collective progress towards achieving the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. 

So far, the tool has revealed “significant differences in the quantity and quality of data published by the 500 companies”. 

Most striking, it said, is the lack of consistency in the reporting of scope 3 emissions, which looks at the full value chain of a company. Out of a total of 15 scope 3 categories, Race to Zero found about 30 percent of companies are reporting three categories or fewer. 

In response, Race to Zero stated that it is partnering with CDP, which this year, “will make its reporting platform available to all Race to Zero members to facilitate standardised and transparent reporting against the Race to Zero Criteria”. 

“This is now the era of accountability,” said Catherine McKenna, former chair at the UN’s High-level Expert Group on the net zero emissions commitments of non-state entities. 

“Bringing to light data on the actual progress of companies and financial institutions on climate is critical to ensuring integrity and tackling greenwashing.”