This year, the number of the world’s largest companies committing to net-zero emissions targets, meaning they will eliminate as much of the greenhouse gases as they produce, tripled to 1,500 from the start of the year.

Major tech giants, including Amazon, Apple and Microsoft, stepped up with some of the boldest corporate commitments to date. They pledged this year to decarbonize their businesses within the next 10 to 20 years, to set interim science-based reduction targets and to not rely on carbon removal to meet their goals—in recognition of how little time we have to tackle the worst impacts of the climate crisis. Large utilities, among those facing the biggest shift, ratcheted up their ambitions—Southern Company and WEC Energy Group both set 2050 net-zero commitments during the past six months.

Corporations weren’t the only ones embracing net zero. The world’s largest investors, who have so much at stake in the transition to a net zero economy, are now stepping up the pressure on how the businesses they invest in and finance undertake this transition and how quickly.

Eager to capture the opportunities of investing in climate initiatives and innovations in this new economy and to avoid the rising risks of sticking with the status quo, major investors are taking a multi-pronged approach to driving climate action. This includes adopting their own ambitious net-zero goals for their businesses and their portfolios.

In a bellwether move, the New York State Comptroller, custodian of the $225 billion state pension fund, earlier this month committed to decarbonizing the pension fund’s entire portfolio by 2040, a full 10 years ahead of any other U.S. pension fund. This fall, banking giant Morgan Stanley became the first bank to set a net zero target for its financed emissions, pledging to meet that goal by 2050 in a move that ratchets up the pressure on another part of the financial system. And then in December, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, explicitly called on the companies it is engaging with on climate change to lay out plans for how they will reach 2050 net-zero goals.

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This ambition is exactly what we need to save our planet and strengthen our economy.

At the same time, investors are increasingly joining forces around the globe to move the needle faster. The influence of the Climate Action 100+, the largest investor engagement initiative on climate change, launched three years ago by Ceres and its global partners, to drive more urgent action by the world’s largest corporate emitters on the climate crisis, continues to grow. With BlackRock joining in January, and State Street Global Advisors, the third largest asset manager, joining in December, the group now includes 545 investors with $52 trillion in assets under management – nearly half of all managed assets in the world.

Nearly half of the Climate Action 100+ focus companies have now established commitments to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner, the initiative’s latest Progress Report reveals. For instance, Ford, one of the focus companies, expanded its climate goals this summer, announcing its ambition to become carbon neutral by 2050 and signing an agreement with California to comply with standards stricter than the Trump Administration’s vehicle emissions standard. Just this October, Occidental Petroleum became the first major U.S. oil company to target net-zero emissions, announcing an operational net zero by 2040 target and ambition for net zero associated with the use of its products by 2050.

Nearly half of the Climate Action 100+ focus companies have now established commitments to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner, the initiative’s latest Progress Report reveals. For instance, Ford, one of the focus companies, expanded its climate goals this summer, announcing its ambition to become carbon neutral by 2050 and signing an agreement with California to comply with standards stricter than the Trump Administration’s vehicle emissions standard. Just this October, Occidental Petroleum became the first major U.S. oil company to target net-zero emissions, announcing an operational net zero by 2040 target and ambition for net zero associated with the use of its products by 2050.

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Nearly half of the Climate Action 100+ focus companies have now established commitments to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner, the initiative’s latest Progress Report reveals. For instance, Ford, one of the focus companies, expanded its climate goals this summer, announcing its ambition to become carbon neutral by 2050 and signing an agreement with California to comply with standards stricter than the Trump Administration’s vehicle emissions standard. Just this October, Occidental Petroleum became the first major U.S. oil company to target net-zero emissions, announcing an operational net zero by 2040 target and ambition for net zero associated with the use of its products by 2050.

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