image: Carbon Disclosure Project
Calling it a Carbon Chasm, the Carbon Disclosure Project reports that the world's largest companies need to double the pace of their carbon emissions reduction efforts if catastrophic climate change is to be avoided:Their new study shows that the Global 100 firms are on track for annual emission reductions of 1.9%, versus the 3.9% needed to reduce emissions 80% by 2050:
Few Companies Have Plans in Place Past 2012
Of the 92 companies surveyed with emission reductions targets with a self-imposed deadline, 84% have emission reductions targets in place for 2012 (the final year of the Kyoto Protocol) but have not put plans in place for reduction targets past that -- the suggested reason being that they are waiting to see what comes out of the COP15 climate talks this December, where a successor to the Kyoto Protocol is (hopefully) enacted.
Strong Emission Reductions a Competitive Advantage
Paul Dickinson, CEO of the Carbon Disclosure Project:
While 73% of Global 100 companies have set some form of reduction target, the majority need to be far more aggressive if they are to achieve the long-term reductions required. This is a time of huge opportunity for businesses to gain competitive advantage by reducing their own impact
on the climate and benefit from associated cost savings, as well as sparking major innovation around the production of new, lower carbon products and services.
Here's How to Bridge the Carbon Chasm
The CDP recommends the following steps to rectify the situation:
1) Companies should set a CO2 reduction target (if they haven't already), with clear baselines and target years;
2) Governments need to agree to clear medium and long-term reduction goals at the Copenhagen talks, to provide businesses with a framework for their reductions.
3) These targets should reflect the IPCC scientific recommendations -- namely, 25-40% reductions by 2020 and 80-95% reductions by 2050.
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