Companies showing leadership in race to low-carbon economy

New research from CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project) shows that more and more companies are embedding low-carbon goals into their long-term business plans. 151 companies have now committed to set emissions reduction targets in line with the 2C goal, up from 94 just one year ago.

CDP has published its A List report for 2017, which tracks how over 1,800 companies around the world are responding to the climate action goals of the Paris climate agreement. According to CDP CEO Paul Simpson, the corporate world is at a tipping point in the low-carbon transition.

“The transition to a low-carbon economy will create winners and losers within and across sectors. As new businesses and technologies emerge and scale up, billions of dollars of value are waiting to be unlocked, even as many more are at risk, wrote Simpson in the report’s foreword.

The global analysis shows that the private sector is picking up the pace on climate action, with more and more leading companies embedding low-carbon goals into their long-term future business plans. Of the more than 1,000 companies that responded to the survey, 89 per cent have some form of emissions targets, up from 86 per cent last year.

151 companies were committed to setting targets in line with climate science, which requires deep cuts in emissions to keep global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius. In 2016 this number was 91, representing an increase from 9 per cent to 14 per cent in just one year. An additional 30 per cent – 317 companies – plan to set a science-based target within two years.

This year’s analysis is based on the climate data disclosed by over 1,000 of the world’s largest, highest-emitting companies that represent 12 per cent of global direct carbon emissions. French cosmetics giant L’Oreal and Anglo-Dutch consumer goods group Unilever had the highest scores in the global ranking, scoring straight “A”s across the board.

As Reuters reports, U.S.-based companies make up one fifth of those in this year’s A list, making U.S. companies the biggest single national group for policies limiting climate change and protecting natural resources.

“The business case for climate action remains despite a lack of support in the federal level,” Marcus Norton, chief partnerships officer and general counsel at CDP told Reuters.


Image credit: Ian Britton via Flickr

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