Brussels, February 9 – Today, members of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee voted to oblige companies to draw up plans to reduce their carbon emissions in line with the Paris Agreement and prevent environmental harm.

The committee’s opinion on the law – the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive – includes:

  • A stronger definition of environmental harms that aligns with existing EU laws [1] and will strengthen the environmental due diligence requirement for companies. The new definition would help protect biodiversity and precious ecosystems that are increasingly under pressure.
  • Requirements for companies to reduce their carbon emissions by developing and meeting science-based targets. Their plans should cover scope 1,2 and 3 emissions - namely direct emissions that a company produces itself – like drilling for fossil gas – and indirect ones, such as selling it.

Arianne Griffith, Corporate Accountability Team Lead at Global Witness said:

“MEPs in the Environment Committee have taken a necessary step towards holding companies to account for the environmental and climate harm they are causing. It's now up to the rest of the European Parliament to back this proposal to protect the environment and make sure companies reduce their carbon emissions.”

Global Witness revealed last week how Dutch companies involved in a $15 billion airport development in the Philippines are set to profit from a project that harms local communities, the climate, and vital ecosystems. Today’s proposal could oblige companies to prevent such harm.

In the coming weeks, the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) has to consider today’s package when agreeing on its final proposal for the European Parliament position, which will be voted on in the JURI Committee in March. A full plenary vote on the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive is expected in May.