Re­port finds many firms lax on cli­mate

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Frank Jordans

BERLIN >> Many com­pa­nies in high­e­mis­sion in­dus­tries aren’t do­ing enough to re­spond to cli­mate change, ac­cord­ing to a re­port pro­duced for some of the world’s big­gest in­sti­tu­tional in­vestors that was pub­lished Wed­nes­day.

The Lon­don-based Tran­si­tion Path­way Ini­tia­tive ex­am­ined 274 pub­licly listed com­pa­nies in sec­tors such as au­to­mo­biles, min­ing and steel­mak­ing. It con­cluded that al­most half don’t ad­e­quately con­sider the risks of cli­mate change when mak­ing busi­ness de­ci­sions. A quar­ter of the com­pa­nies ex­am­ined don’t re­port their green­house gas emis­sions at all.

The re­port also found that, out of 160 com­pa­nies stud­ied,

only one in eight is re­duc­ing emis­sions in line with the 2015 Paris cli­mate ac­cord’s goal of keep­ing global warm­ing be­low 2 de­grees Cel­sius (3.6 de­grees Fahren­heit) by the end of the cen­tury com­pared with pre-in­dus­trial times.

“Broadly speak­ing we see more progress than we see back­slid­ing,” said Si­mon Di­etz, a pro­fes­sor of en­vi­ron­men­tal pol­icy at the Lon­don School of Eco­nom­ics who co-wrote the re­port and a sim­i­lar study pub­lished last year. “But most com­pa­nies are not pro­gress­ing.”

In ad­di­tion to ex­am­in­ing com­pa­nies’ record on cut­ting car­bon emis­sions, the re­port also as­sessed the qual­ity of man­age­ment when it comes to ad­dress­ing cli­mate change. The au­thors found that min­ing, util­ity and oil and gas com­pa­nies ap­pear par­tic­u­larly fo­cused on the ef­fect cli­mate change will have on their busi­ness.

Cli­mate change and the way com­pa­nies are re­spond­ing to it is be­com­ing an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant fac­tor for large funds try­ing to de­cide which shares to buy. Some in­vestors are con­cerned about the pos­si­bil­ity that lim­its on cor­po­rate car­bon emis­sions could af­fect the value of busi­nesses that aren’t tak­ing steps to re­duce their emis­sions. Oth­ers, par­tic­u­larly those with eth­i­cal and en­vi­ron­men­tal cri­te­ria for in­vest­ing, see trans­parency on cli­matere­lated is­sues as a way of putting pres­sure on com­pa­nies to do more against global warm­ing.

The Tran­si­tion Path­way Ini­tia­tive, or TPI, is backed by in­vestors that to­gether man­age over $14 tril­lion in as­sets, in­clud­ing the Cal­i­for­nia Public Em­ploy­ees’ Re­tire­ment Sys­tem, Bri­tish in­surer Aviva and Swiss bank UBS.

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