Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


Business is 39 years shy of climate targets

September 2009

The world’s largest companies will reach recommended levels of greenhouse gas cuts 39 years too late to avoid dangerous climate change, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project.

The CDP, which holds the largest database of corporate climate change information in the world, says most companies need to double the rate of their carbon dioxide reductions if the world is to avoid disaster.

In a new analysis, The carbon chasm, it says the Global 100 – the most sustainable publicly traded companies in the world – are on target for an annual reduction of 1.9 per cent, against the 3.9 per cent needed to cut emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

Most scientists agree that the developed world must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by between 80 and 95 per cent by 2050  to avoid dangerous climate change. At the current rate businesses will reach this reduction by 2089, on average.

CDP also expresses concerns that most companies have reduction goals only until 2012, the final year of the Kyoto Protocol.

Paul Dickinson, chief executive of the CDP, said: ‘While 73 per cent 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.’

  Businesses including Centrica, EDF and Scottish and Southern have signed up to a new 10:10 campaign which supports a ten per cent emissions cut by 2010 and aims to bolster grassroots support for tough action on climate change ahead of December’s Copenhagen summit.
See Copenhagen briefing: p9

Carbon Disclosure Project | Global | Climate change

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