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Large Companies Are Not Making Sufficient Carbon Cuts

August 26, 2009

A recent study warns that the world’s 100 largest companies are failing to meet scientific recommendations on how to contain global warming, AFP reported.

The study by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) said the world is facing a “Carbon Chasm”.

It went on to say that a minimum annual global reduction rate of 3.9 percent per year is needed to cut emissions in developed economies by the required 80 percent by 2050.

“However analysis of reduction targets from the Global 100 companies shows they are currently on track for an annual reduction of just 1.9 percent per year,” it explained.

But 73 percent of Global 100 companies reported some form of reduction target, while 27 percent did not, according to the CDP analysts.

The study said there is an urgent need for all companies to establish and achieve required targets. It also warned that a company target setting was “motivated by market forces – not scientific requirements.”

The CDP analysis identifies a serious Carbon Chasm and that Chasm highlights the gap between current Global 100 reduction targets and what is needed to make reductions in line with scientific recommendations.

“It shows the majority of companies are currently failing to deliver the reductions required to avoid dangerous climate change,” the report said.

More aggressive targets are needed “if business is to reduce emissions sufficiently” and the CDP called for government leadership and action to ensure that happens.

Companies should set CO2 reduction targets and target years, which should reflect scientific recommendations made by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the CDP suggested.

Governments were also encouraged to agree on clear medium- and long-term reduction goals during key climate change talks in Copenhagen in December.

European companies had the strongest target setting with 84 percent reporting a CO2 reduction target, followed by the United States with 71 percent and Asian companies with 66 percent, according to an analysis of the Global 100 responses to the Carbon Disclosure Project.

However, it noted that the popularity of the target years up to 2012 “suggests that businesses are waiting to hear outcomes” of the Copenhagen conference before setting goals for longer-term reductions.

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