The world's largest companies need to double the pace of carbon dioxide (CO2) reductions to avoid dangerous climate change says a new research report.
According to 'The Carbon Chasm', a research report by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), based on current reduction targets, the world's largest companies are on track to reach the scientifically recommended level of greenhouse gas cuts by 2089 - 39 years too late to avoid dangerous climate change.
It shows that the Global 100 firms (92 of which participated in the study) are currently on track for an annual reduction of just 1.9 percent per annum which is below the 3.9 percent needed in order to cut emissions in developed economies by 80 percent in 2050.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), developed economies must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95 percent by 2050 in order to avoid dangerous climate change.
The research was conducted to analyze how the world's largest 100 companies currently set greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets and whether they are sufficient to combat long term climate change.
Of those emissions reduction targets with a deadline, a majority (84 percent) are set up to and including 2012, which correlates with the final year of the Kyoto Protocol and suggests that businesses may be waiting to hear outcomes of the UN Conference of the Parties meeting in Copenhagen this December (COP-15) before they set longer term reduction goals.
"Most large companies now measure their carbon footprint and many have set carbon reduction targets. But how many of those targets are actually in line with the required reductions to prevent dangerous climate change?" BT's Chief Sustainability Officer Chris Tuppen commented.
"The research highlights a significant gap between what is needed from the corporate sector and what's currently promised. We in the business world need to find a way of closing this carbon chasm," he said.
According to Paul Dickinson, CEO of the Carbon Disclosure Project, "While 73 percent of Global 100 companies have set some form of reduction target, the majority need to be far more aggressive if they are to achieve the long-term reductions required."
"This is a time of huge opportunity for businesses to gain competitive advantage by reducing their own impact on the climate and benefit from associated cost savings, as well as sparking major innovation around the production of new, lower carbon products and services," he said.