Response to the Reclaim Finance blog post “The TPI benchmark: misleading approach, dangerous conclusion”


In its blog post published on the 6th December, Reclaim Finance comments on the TPI’s updated company scores for the energy cluster published in the TPI online tool. They made an attempt to challenge TPI methodologies and individual alignment scores of companies.

We find that the Reclaim Finance blog post misrepresents TPI’s analysis. TPI provides a wide range of indicators and different, complementary analyses, which together try to provide a holistic view of companies’ progress on climate change. These indicators and analyses need to be looked at together, not in isolation. Reclaim Finance instead selectively discusses individual elements of our data to give a misleading impression.

The point of our Carbon Performance methodology is to assess the ambition of corporate emissions targets. That is precisely why our projections of company emissions in the future are based on their targets. But this analysis is complemented by a wide range of other indicators, which look at what managerial and governance steps companies are taking.

Despite the impression Reclaim Finance tries to give, Scope 3 targets are a core element of our analysis of corporate climate action in sectors where Scope 3 emissions are an important share of lifecycle emissions, such as oil and gas, automobile manufacturing, and mining. Indeed, without a Scope 3 emissions target, oil and gas companies are far from alignment with low-carbon scenarios.

Similarly, we analyse the alignment of companies not only in the long term (i.e., 2050), but also in the short and medium term (e.g., 2030). It is clear from our analysis that companies such as TotalEnergies and RWE are not aligned in the short term, but, if they deliver on their targets, they will bring their emissions intensities below low-carbon benchmarks in the long term. Any company that has a higher-than-average emissions intensity today is going to be above the benchmarks for a period of time. Unfortunately, science does not give an unambiguous answer to exactly when an individual company needs to align. That is why we choose to show the whole pathway for each company. Investors may decide how to act on the information.