BASF relying on unproven technology to meet its climate goals with no target for over 80% of its emissions, Planet Tracker finds


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New report from Planet Tracker finds that BASF remains well off-target from its climate goals, relying on unproven future technologies such as carbon capture and storage to help meet targets

  • Chemical giant’s current emissions trajectory is on track for a +3 °C climate scenario by 2030 according to Planet Tracker data.
  • For 83% of its emissions – those classified as Scope 3 – it has no target.
  • Leadership has limited incentives to meet climate goals, with maximum bonuses achievable even if the company misses its emissions targets.
  • Planet Tracker finds that BASF is heavily reliant on new technologies to achieve [its] 2050 Net Zero goal.
  • BASF is expanding its capacity at 10 times the rate it is spending on climate protection.

London, 20 July 2023: Planet Tracker has launched a new analysis of German multinational chemicals company BASF, finding that the company is most unlikely to meet its stated climate goals of Net Zero emissions by 2050 and is instead relying on unproven future technologies. 

While the company has announced plans to target Scope 1 and 2 emissions, it has no target for Scope 3, those produced indirectly along supply chains, which account for 83% of its total emissions. The report finds that BASF’s policy for Scope 3 suppliers that ‘deviate’ from climate commitments is to ‘retain and engage’, implying that it puts little pressure on these organisations.

The report reveals that BASF’s current Net Zero target is heavily reliant on technologies that are currently unproven and still in their infancy such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) and process electrification. Since BASF does not currently have this technology, it will be nearly impossible for the company to reach its Net Zero target on its current trajectory.

Given this, Planet Tracker finds, BASF is doing surprisingly little to bring these technologies about and is spending little in climate prevention. BASF has committed to invest USD 1 billion in climate protection by 2025, but the report finds it is spending ten times that rate to expand its capacity.

Planet Tracker’s analysis finds that BASF’s management are ‘poorly incentivised to achieve a net zero goal’ and that it is possible for the CEO to ‘completely miss’ all sustainability targets and still achieve the maximum bonus. According to the report, its short-term incentive plan for management remains opaque, making it difficult for investors and outside sources to assess how it will respond to changing climate needs.

John Willis, Director of Research at Planet Tracker, comments: “The findings of this report indicate that BASF has demonstrated a disinterest in achieving its climate goals, relying on unproven technologies to reach them. BASF has failed to meaningfully and successfully engage with the sources of its Scope 3 emissions, or reduce its dependence on fossil fuel feedstocks, which account for almost a third of all its emissions. The management do not reveal a Scope 3 target.

“This data demonstrates a worrying trend, that BASF has no credible strategy to become Net Zero. Planet Tracker calls on BASF and its investors to do more to reverse this startling climate trajectory”.

The Climate Transition Analysis of BASF is part of a series examining the climate transition plans of sectors on the Climate Action 100+ list. Previous analyses have revealed similar deficiencies in companies like Colgate-Palmolive and Procter & Gamble, further underscoring the urgency for effective Scope 3 emissions reduction. Planet Tracker plans to release a thematic analysis encompassing sub-sectors covered by CA100+ in the coming months.     

The report can be downloaded in full here.


For more information please contact:

Josh Hoppen, ESG Communications | t: +34 612 28 72 64 |


Planet Tracker is a non-profit financial think tank producing analytics and reports to align capital markets with planetary boundaries. Our mission is to create significant and irreversible transformation of global financial activities by 2030. By informing, enabling and mobilising the transformative power of capital markets we aim to deliver a financial system that is fully aligned with a net-zero, nature-positive economy. Planet Tracker proactively engages with financial institutions to drive change in their investment strategies. We ensure they know exactly what risk is built into their investments and identify opportunities from funding the systems transformations we advocate.


As part of its material system transition programme, Planet Tracker is examining the transition plans of the chemical companies covered by the Climate Action 100+ list ( Our goal is to provide investors with the key information and analysis they need to be able to hold chemical companies to account for the quality of their climate transition plans and their execution against those plans, and to encourage them to use this information to engage effectively with these companies with the ultimate aim of driving the sustainable transformation of the chemical sector.