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CDP investors and firms must adapt to low carbon future

CDP, the environmental NGO is calling on investors and firms to adapt quickly to a low carbon future. In a new report  Out of the Starting Blocks,  CDP in partnership with We Mean Business, presents its first annual report tracking companies’ progress on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

CDP said that its research, produced for institutional investors, shows that almost all companies in its global sample were already taking action to reduce emissions ahead of the Paris Agreement, which is due to come into force in November. However, very few companies have set emissions reduction targets in line with the Paris mitigation goal. The unprecedented speed with which the agreement has entered into force has proven just how quickly companies needed to transform the way they do business.

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New CDP report: Out of The Starting Blocks: Tracking progress on corporate climate action

In the report CDP has established a baseline for measuring companies GHG emissions reductions. CDP said 1,089 companies had provided data for its global report and they will be tracked over the next five years to see how they are performing. CDP said these companies together account for 12% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and 85% 0f them have already set targets to reduce their emissions.

Paul Simpson chief executive of CDP wrote: “CDP’s data shows that hundreds of companies are already preparing for the momentous changes ahead, but many are yet to grapple with this new reality.”

CDP said that the 1,089 companies in its sample represented 62% of those it had contacted for the report indicating that many businesses had yet to grasp the importance of the challenge. Its research found that while 55% of its sample of companies had targets for 2020 and beyond, just 14% had set goals for 2030 or beyond, a situation that must change, CDP believes, to achieve a transition to well-below 2°C.

In terms of addressing carbon emission reduction CDP said that currently 29% of companies from its sample use an internal price on carbon, while a further 19% plan to do so in the near future. Therefore, it expects about half of the sample to be using an internal price on carbon by 2017 and reporting this by 2018. The research also found that 62 companies had “dramatically” financially outperformed the rest of their sample of firms having demonstrably “decoupled” greenhouse gas emissions growth from revenue growth.

Simpson added: “With trillions of dollars’ worth of assets set to be at risk from climate change, investors are more focused than ever on winners and losers in the low-carbon transition. CDP will be shining a spotlight on progress and driving a race to net-zero emissions.”

Green Concept LampWhat do global companies “Say on Sustainability”? Reserve  your personal copy of Manifest’s annual review of sustainability reporting today or call +44(0)1376 503500 to find out more.

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