Last reviewed 2 March 2021

The list of large companies lining up to sponsor the next UN climate change summit COP26 in Glasgow is growing, but campaigners complain of links to fossil fuels.

Companies include Sainsbury’s which has joined SSE, Sky, Scottish Power, NatWest Group and National Grid as a “Principal Partner”.

The company plans to spend £1billion on becoming Net Zero across their operations by 2040 using science-based targets, including a target to reduce the retailer’s emissions across their value chain by 30% by 2030.

COP26 President Alok Sharma said he was “delighted” to welcome the company as a sponsor for the Glasgow summit.

“Businesses have a key role to play in helping us build back greener and Sainsbury’s has shown strong leadership by making a clear commitment to combating climate change through science based measures, as well as reducing plastic packaging and empowering consumers to make more sustainable choices.”

But the Government has been accused of turning crucial climate talks into a “corporate jamboree” as the list of corporate sponsors continues to grow, including some with links to fossil fuels.

SSE has come under fire for its activities in Scotland, where its Peterhead gas power plant has topped the list of carbon polluters in recent years running, although the company is also involved in Seagreen, Scotland’s largest offshore windfarm, off the Angus coast.

NatWest Group has also been criticised for its continued involvement with fossil fuels investment, but the company said it will stop lending and underwriting major oil and gas producers by the end of 2021 unless they have a credible transition plan in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement by the end of 2021.

Mary Church, Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “The focus of the UK Government should be delivering the real action needed to tackle climate breakdown in this critical decade, not figuring out how many logos they can squeeze on to the signage.”

The Government has announced that all sponsors, who will help shoulder the costs of the talks, have committed to the “Science Based Targets” initiative to set ambitious goals to cut emissions and draw up credible action plans to achieve them.