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World’s biggest firms increasingly engaged in climate issues

For Croner Publications Ltd, Environmental News Online, September 2008

The latest annual survey published by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) has shown that the world’s largest firms are becoming more engaged in climate issues.

The CDP report collects and analyses data on corporate climate policies from over 1500 major companies worldwide.

The report shows that global corporations view climate change as a driver of risk and opportunity, but that a “backdrop of regulatory uncertainty is delaying strategic investment decisions”. Senior managers are asking for greater transparency on climate change issues in order to “better anticipate the impact of regulation driven carbon markets and carbon prices”.

However, the majority of companies are working to reduce their carbon emissions, with almost three-quarters of the Global 500 companies who responded to the CDP reporting targets for emissions reductions.

A wide range of plans are in place for reducing emissions including investment in new technologies, energy efficiency, reducing business travel and workforce education.

Carbon disclosure and reporting on climate change policies is becoming a critical issue for investors wishing to fully assess the risks and opportunities of their investments.

Says Paul Dickinson, CEO of CDP, “With increased regulation on the horizon, investors are requiring this information to better understand the creditworthiness of companies in their portfolio and how climate change might affect their profitability”.

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