World’s largest companies are 39 years behind in achieving the levels of green house gas reductions as recommended by Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), according to a new study released on Monday.
The analysis showed that going by present rates of reduction targets in their emissions, the companies would reach the IPCC recommended levels of greenhouse gas cuts only by 2089, which is 39 years too late to avoid dangerous climate change on the planet, researchers said.
The research report “The carbon chasm” released by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), an analysis of Global 100 firms (92 of which participated in the study), showed that these companies at present are targeting annual reduction of just 1.9 per cent as against 3.9 per cent per annum needed to cut the emissions in developed economies by 80 per cent by 2050.
The study supported by British Telecom pointed out that targets fixed by these companies are driven by market forces and not by scientific requirements needed to minimise the impact of irreversible damage caused by emission of green house gases to the global climate.
The Nobel-winning IPCC has recommended that developed countries must reduce greenhouse gas emissions between 80 to 95 per cent by 2050 to avoid irreversible and dangerous climate changes on Earth.
The study showed 73 per cent of these companies have some form of reduction targets while a significant minority - 27 per cent - do not. There is an urgent requirement for all companies to establish and achieve required targets, Paul Dickinson, CEO of the Carbon Disclosure Project said.
A majority of the companies, 84 per cent of them, have set their targets only till year 2012, which is the final year of Kyoto Protocol and are awaiting the outcome of United Nations Framework on Climate Change meeting in Copenhagen in December this year.
Companies voluntarily report climate change data to Carbon Disclosure Project, an independent not-for-profit organisation holding database of corporate climate change. The report is based on the data for 2008.
“(That) Developed economies are not doing enough for reductions in carbon emissions does not come as a surprise.
Companies in these countries are running a campaign against any possible deal in Copenhagen. While they are claiming cutting emissions will affect their economies, they want developing countries to grow in low emission environments,” said Chandra Bhushan, Industry and Environment Unit coordinator of Centre for Science and Environment here.
“How many of those targets are actually in line with the required reductions to prevent dangerous climate change? The research highlights a significant gap between what is needed from the corporate sector and what’s currently promised,” BT’s Chief Sustainability Officer Chris Tuppen said.