Time running out for Paris

If Europe’s most carbon-intensive companies caught up with the best climate performers, corporate emissions in Europe could be cut in half, according to a new report by CDP and Oliver Wyman.

Now For Nature: The Decade of Delivery
finds that the number of companies with approved science-based targets grew 85 per cent last year, and the analysis gives reason for optimism, with 450 million tonnes of CO2 estimated to be ‘locked’ in and to come from companies with targets being set through the SBTi.

But the report also finds that while European companies are driving global progress on science-based targets (SBTs), they are often failing to act on their wider environmental impacts and still only 16 per cent of firms have targets aligned with the Paris Agreement.

COVID-19 brought a 13 per cent drop in reported corporate emissions, but there is little evidence of real reductions. After adjusting for COVID-19, cuts are in the range of the pre-pandemic trend of 1.5 per cent per year – far short of the 4.2 per cent required for companies to align with the Paris pathway.

There was faster progress in finance with a 50 per cent annual improvement, nearly half (44 per cent) of European financial institutions now report ‘financed emissions’ – those linked to investment, loans and insurance activities – though only a minority (27 per cent) include at least half of their portfolio. Meanwhile, a third (32 per cent) of disclosing financial institutions report specifically encouraging companies in their portfolios to set emissions targets in line with 1.5C.

A recurring finding is that leadership is confined to few companies. This is whether looking at action on climate, forests, or water security, and is especially true for engagement throughout value chains. If all companies matched the best in their industry, emissions equal to those of the UK and Ireland could be spared each year.

CDP Europe’s report analysed data from over 1,220 European companies disclosing their impacts on climate change, forests and water security through CDP’s disclosure system in 2021.

    Share Story:

Recent Stories