Carbon intensive firms not cutting emissions enough

Top British firms are setting their emission cutting targets so low it will not affect the country's attempts to cut them, according to a new report.

The Government has set an interim target of 34% to 42% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by the 2020, against 1990 levels.

However new research by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) released today (January 7) shows while companies are making reductions in emissions more needs to be done.

In its report the CDP evaluates how UK FTSE 100 companies’ emission reduction targets compare.

It finds that while ‘most’ FTSE 100 companies report having some form of emissions or energy reduction target in place the scope of these targets ‘varies considerably’.

The average annual reduction rate for FTSE 100 company targets is 2.5%, this compares well with the 2.4% annual reduction rate required to meet the UK 2020 target.

But, energy, utilities and materials sectors cover just 24 companies in the FTSE 100, but they are currently responsible for 87% of all emissions.

And, their average yearly reduction rate is a poor 1.2%, well below what is needed to meet the 2020 target.

The report states: “These carbon intensive sectors will need to take on more aggressive targets if they are to deliver in line with government commitments.

“Clearly UK regulation is sending strong signals to companies of the necessity to manage carbon, but as many of these companies operate globally, we also need a strong global framework to create the right incentives to set sufficiently strong targets.”

Luke Walsh

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie