Quarter of world’s biggest firms ‘fail to disclose emissions’
Grantham Research Institute found half do not factor climate crisis in decision-making
Wed 10 Jul 2019 00.01 BST
Shares 72 [image: Smoke rises from a brick kiln] Only 20 of 160 big emitters are reducing their emissions fast enough to meet the Paris agreement target. Photograph: Anupam Nath/AP
About a quarter of the world’s highest-emitting publicly listed companies fail to report their greenhouse gas emissions and nearly half do not properly consider the risks from the climate crisis in their decision-making, new research has found.
The findings show the distance even the world’s biggest companies still have to cover to meet the goals of the Paris agreement on climate change
The research covered a sample of 274 of the world’s highest emitting companies which are publicly listed, and therefore must make official disclosures of key financial data. Sign up to the Green Light email to get the planet’s most important stories
It was carried out by the Grantham Research Institute onclimate change at the London School of Economics and commissioned by the Transition Pathway Initiative, a group of investors supportive of the Paris agreement, with about $14tn (£11tn) in funds under management.
Of a smaller sample of 160 of the biggest emitters, only one in eight – 20 companies – globally were found to be reducing their emissions at the rate necessary to meet the Paris goal of holding temperature rises to within 2C of pre-industrial levels.
Simon Dietz, codirector of the Grantham Institute, said: “It’s over three years since the Paris agreement was signed, and this research shows the corporate sector is improving its climate planning and performance, but not fast enough. Cutting through the noise, we can see that barely 12% of companies plan to reduce emissions at the rate required to keep global warming below 2C.”
The researchers examined companies in key sectors including oil and gas, steel and aluminium, utilities, car manufacturing and air transport, which combined account for more than 40% of emissions from public companies around the world. Molly Scott Cato: ‘It’s the wealthy who are causing climate change’
New rules have been introduced in the UK that require big companies to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions
Faith Ward, co-chair of the Transition Pathway Initiative, said investors would be taking note: “This research shows clear leaders and laggards emerging within sectors from airlines to aluminium, and that gives investors an investment-relevant decision to make today. Advertisement
“As the effects of climate change accelerate, we can expect to see more capital flow away from those companies that bury their head in the sand, and towards those companies aligning with a 2C pathway.”