More than 60 companies in Ireland have signed up to the Business in the Community Low Carbon Pledge, which commits them to achieving a number of environmental objectives.

The Low Carbon Pledge calls on businesses to set science-based carbon emission reduction targets no later than 2024.

The targets are based on findings from scientific studies on how to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Business in the Community Ireland, which describes itself as the national network for sustainability, created the initial Low Carbon Pledge in 2018. 

The aim of the pledge is to be a starting point for their member companies to commit to 'cutting their carbon footprint, report annually on their progress and progress towards a net zero (emissions) economy.'

Among the 60 signatories are a number of banks, law firms, pharmaceutical companies, grocery chains as well a range of state and semi-state companies among others.

"The Low Carbon Pledge is a clear demonstration of businesses driving towards decarbonisation, creating the business models, innovation and jobs for a low carbon future," Tomás Sercovich, CEO, Business in the Community Ireland said. 

"As more businesses join this Pledge, we will use our collective voice to drive the new systems thinking we need to overcome this fundamental challenge."

A major global study carried out by investment company Legal & General Investment Management last year found that while Irish companies were very strong on adopting environmental targets, they were less successful when it came to curbing emissions.

The companies that were included in the study were chosen from 'climate-critical' sectors and were responsible for more than 60% of greenhouse gas emissions in their countries.

Today's report comes in the wake of the publication by the Government of the Climate Action Bill following its approval by Cabinet yesterday.

The Bill provides a legal framework for significantly reducing Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions.