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GHG Emissions Trends Off Course to Meet U.S. Reduction Target

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions trends over the past three years by the largest 100 companies in the U.S. indicate they will generate a 3.66 percent absolute increase in emissions by 2020, relative to 2009 levels, if they remain on the same growth path, according to Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).

These numbers are well below the needed 1.05 percent reduction level needed annually to meet President Obama’s U.S. carbon emissions target of 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, said CDP.

The report, “S&P 100 Carbon Chasm” (PDF), finds that the four biggest emitters by sector are utilities, energy, materials and industrials, which account for 90 percent of the emissions. These sectors will be critical in helping the U.S. meet its carbon emissions reduction target, said CDP.

While the materials and energy sectors have shown an average annual decrease in emissions by 0.77 percent and 1.01 percent, respectively, over the past three years, the utility sector, which accounts for 37 percent of reported emissions,  and industrials have grown on average 1.64 percent and 2.03 percent, respectively.

These numbers also indicate that they are significantly off target from meeting the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommended 80 percent reduction by 2050, which requires average annual reduction of 3.9 percent, according to CDP.

CDP’s report in August last year that evaluated the carbon emission goals of the world’s largest 100 companies showed they were reducing emissions by 1.9 percent annually, half of what is needed to meet IPCC’s reduction goal.

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