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The effect of multinational enterprises on climate change: Supply chain emissions, green technology transfers, and corporate commitments

  • Victor Steenbergen
  • Abhishek Saurav
  • Summary

Multinational enterprises (MNEs) provide both a fundamental risk to and an opportunity for climate change mitigation. The climate ambitions of MNEs will affect the environmental performance of countries around the world. As a leading actor, proactive MNEs can impose sustainability standards or encourage green technology transfers that, in some cases, could affect millions of producers and accelerate the climate transition. However, obstructive MNEs may equally hold back any progress to reduce a country’s emissions via inaction or by actively resisting, obstructing, or lobbying against change. The objective of this report is to study the effect of MNEs on climate change. Toward this goal, the report reviews the latest available data, conducts new empirical analysis, and summarizes pioneering literature. The report answers four key questions related to the relationship between MNEs and climate change: » What effect do MNEs currently have on climate change, both through their own activities and through the emissions of their broader supply chains? » How do MNEs shape the potential transfer of “green” technologies to domestic firms, and how do different types of interactions with MNEs stimulate such technology transfers? » How committed are leading MNEs currently to transitioning their supply chains to net-zero emissions by 2050, and do they have long-, medium-, and short-range strategies to realize this? » What types of policies can influence MNEs’ effects on climate change?

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  • Publisher Name:
    World Bank
  • Publisher Place:
    Washington, DC
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