Emissions of world’s largest firms continue to rise

The greenhouse gas emissions of the world's 500 largest companies increased by 3.1% from 2010 to 2013, threatening the UN-set target to keep global warming within 2C.

The Global 500, which accounts for more than a tenth of international emissions and more than a quarter of GDP, should have cut emissions by 4.2% according to the 2014 UNEP Emissions Gap Report.

But part of the responsibility for reducing emissions lies with the consumer, says the report from Thomson Reuters and BSD Consulting.

“We are all a part of a stakeholder network that shares in the benefits provided by modern industry, but also in the responsibility for managing the impact of that industry on our planet, and the planet that subsequent generations will inhabit, said Reuters director of sustainability Tim Nixon

“This is about transparency. We hope companies will look at the report and engage with their stakeholders to reduce emissions.”

Steel giant Arcelor Mittal and US utuilites firm Exelon Corporation are among the large compnaies that saw an emissions increase of more than 10% compared with 2010.

Big companies which reduced their emissions by more than 10% included oil firms BP and Exxon Mobil, as well as UK mining companies Rio Tinto and Anglo American.

The movement to cut emissions was given some momentum by the recent Lima climate change conference, where diplomats agreed that all countries must reach an ‘ambitious agreement’ in Paris 2015 which ‘reflects different national circumstances’.

 Global 500 Greenhouse Gases Performance Trends 2010-2013

 Brad Allen

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