Europe failing to hit Emissions Trading Systems targets

Europe's largest companies lead the world in reporting carbon emissions but need to take more action to cut pollution, according to a report released this morning (November 9).

Those are some of the findings from the non-for-profit Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP) 2010 Europe 300 Report.

The report claims Europe will still fail to meet the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) emission cap by 2020 on the current trajectory set by the Europe 300 companies.

If these companies achieve their current targets they could deliver an average emissions reduction of just 1.5% annually.

These cuts fall short of the planned decrease in the absolute emissions under the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) of 1.9% each year on average over 2013 to 2020, and up to 4.1% if the EU decides to embrace the 30% EU-wide GHG reduction target.

The analysis, conducted by CA Cheuvreux, shows while almost 80% of companies reporting to CDP have set an emissions reduction target, the majority will expire by 2012 and less than a quarter of the companies set targets beyond 2015.

Executive chairman of CDP, Paul Dickinson, said: “The current trajectory set by the Europe 300 companies alone is not sufficient for Europe to meet the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) emission cap by 2020.

“More needs to be done. EU regulation has driven companies to report in high numbers and put climate change on the boardroom agenda. We now need confirmed longer-term policy vision for business to invest in low carbon and encourage new technology.”

Siemens has achieved the highest disclosure score in the CDP Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI) this year.

CDP has also introduced the Carbon Performance Leadership Index (CPLI) – those companies with the highest performance scores have demonstrated a commitment to strategy, setting emissions reductions plans, governance and stakeholder communications.

For the most part, disclosure leaders are also performance leaders. 33 companies from the Europe 300 scored highly enough to be recognised on this year’s CPLI. The Utilities sector continues to outperform in terms of disclosure and the Financials sector underperforms both in disclosure and in performance.

The report can be downloaded here.

Luke Walsh

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