What the World’s Largest Companies Are Doing to Limit Climate Change
Despite setting emissions reduction targets, most of the world’s largest companies aren’t doing enough to limit global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius, according to analysis by CDP.
The report, Mind the Science, assesses emissions targets for 70 energy-intensive companies, which together account for 9 percent of global carbon emissions. Of these, 28 companies have set reduction targets aligned with climate science.
To coincide with the report, the Science Based Targets initiative — a partnership between CDP, UN Global Compact, World Resources Institute and WWF — has launched a global campaign to recruit 100 companies by the end of 2015 to set greenhouse gas emission reduction targets in line with climate science. The organizations say that by aligning emission targets with global efforts to limit Earth’s average temperature rise to within 2 degrees Celsius, companies can safeguard a profitable future and send a signal to policymakers ahead of the UN climate talks this December in Paris that industry is committed to playing a role in shaping the low-carbon economy.
The report says companies that have established science-based targets include:
- L’Oreal, which has pledged to reduce its emissions by 60 percent on an absolute basis from 2005 levels by 2020.
- Italy’s largest power company, Enel, has already cut its CO2 emissions by more than 36 percent compared to 1990 and is working to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
- NRG Energy, the largest independent power producer in the US, has a long-term commitment to cut its GHG emissions by 90 percent by 2050.
- Sodexo, the French multinational hospitalities firm, has a target to cut its carbon emissions by 34 percent from 2012 levels by 2020.
- Other businesses have committed to setting science-based targets, including H&M, the Swedish clothing giant, and Nestlé, the world’s largest food group by sales.
- BT Group, a provider of communications services and solutions, has a target to reduce its GHG emissions by 80 percent per unit of value added by 2020 against a 1996 base-year.
The initiative recommends a variety of methods for companies to use when setting science-based targets. One method developed by the project and released yesterday is the Sectoral Decarbonization Approach (SDA), which helps companies in energy-intensive sectors to set emission targets in line with their sector’s projected level of economic activity and potential for emissions reductions.
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