Marieke describes how organisations struggle to put climate commitments into practice as they navigate questions of climate strategy, compliance and implementation. At the same time, the accountability landscape is hardening. Climate policy and sustainability claims are closely scrutinised by regulators and civil society. This combination of uncertainty and accountability leads to backtracking, less ambitious climate targets and greenhushing. However, insufficient climate ambition also carries potential liability risks.
Marieke flags that organisations appear to be caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to setting their climate targets. This squeeze invites a "safety in numbers" approach, which – ultimately – is incompatible with the important role that the private sector has to play in the transition to a sustainable economy. Instead, Marieke argues, we should create a societal context which fosters climate ambition. The focus should shift from individual accountability to collective responsibility. This requires, among other things, that organisations in transition are granted a "safe" space to learn, share and cooperate and accountability-proponents should provide this breathing room.