Published on 03 March 2020


Global warming: major german companies are putting the planet on a path to 5°C

Major German companies are far from meeting the Paris Agreement objectives. According to the German start-up "Right. based on science", the climate trajectories of DAX 30 companies, equivalent to the FTSE 100 in England, is set to reach nearly 5°C by 2050. RWE , HeidelbergCement and E.On, even hover around 10°C despite their climatic objectives.

HeidelbergCement 1
According to Right. based on Science, the German cement manufacturer HeidelbergCement is on a global warming trajectory of 10.7°C by 2050.

Large German listed companies are significantly contributing to global warming. This was the conclusion of a study conducted by the German start-up "Right. based on Science" entitled, "What if…the 30 German stock market's largest and most liquid companies would reach their current climate targets?"

The start-up’s calculations were carried out across all DAX 30 companies, or the 30 largest market valuations in Germany, and suggest that the companies’ global warming measurement will reach 4.94°C by 2050. To determine the potential global warming temperatures of these companies, Right. Based on science relied on X-Degree Compatibility (XDC), which is its in-house tool for modeling a company’s climate impact.

Energy giant RWE comes in last place due to the company’s current economic model, which places it on a global warming trajectory of 13.8°C by 2050. Taking into account the climate objectives that the company has set, their global warming trajectory decreases slightly to 9.5°C. This level is far too high to achieve the Paris Agreement objectives, which were designed to limit global warming to under 2°C by the end of the century, and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

22 companies on an alarming trajectory

RWE is not alone in pulling the average down. HeidelbergCement's economic model places it on a 10.7°C warming trajectory that the cement manufacturer's climatic targets are only able to bring down to 10.3°C. E.On will reach 8.3°C if their model does not change and 8.1°C if they reach their climate targets by 2050. Altogether, 22 of the 30 companies on the stock market index are exceeding 2°C. According to the climate scenarios communicated, 17 companies remain on an alarming trajectory.

Eight companies have managed to stay at 2°C or below, including the pharmaceutical company Bayer (2°C), the German exchange operator Deutsche Börse (2°C), SAP (1.6 ° C) and Infineon Technologies ( 1.8 ° C). Some were able to cross the critical threshold, such as Deutsche Post, whose climate targets allowed it to drop from 2.1°C in the "business as usual" scenario, to 1.6°C.

On the whole, major German companies must continue to their efforts if they want to contribute to a low-carbon economy. For Right. based on science, it is important that stakeholders are aware of these elements to understand how to "bet on the best ones. Pick the strongest leaders. Set the right priorities".

Arnaud Dumas, @ADumas5

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