Large Corporates Fall Short of Green Goals by Carol Wilson
With all the attention being given to reducing greenhouse gases, a major new report says we’re not doing nearly enough. “The Carbon Chasm” was produced by the Carbon Disclosure Project and supported by BT, and shows that the world’s largest companies need to do much more than they are currently planning in terms of reducing carbon emissions if we are to reach scientifically-recommended level of greenhouse gas cuts by 2050.
Thus far, the top 100 global entities are planning an annual reduction of 1.9% of carbon emissions and at that pace will reach the level recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) in 2089 – or 39 years too late. The IPCC is recommending a 3.9% annual reduction in carbon emissions by developed economies.
The report contains a number of recommendations, including asking every company to set a CO2 emission reduction target, with clear baseline and target years, and stating that company targets reflect the IPCC recommendations and be clearly aggressive enough to help prevent serious climate change.
The Carbon Chasm also challenges governments, who will be meeting in Copenhagen in December, to provide the framework for businesses to set these required targets – in other words, provide realistic incentives and dis-incentives to get companies moving. The report shows a number of businesses are only setting short-term goals – dated to 2012 and not beyond – an indication that they are waiting to see what happens in Copenhagen before taking further action.
Because data centers remain a major source of electricity use and carbon emissions – and one that is expected to grow exponentially – pursuing green data center technology remains the major opportunity for the world’s largest corporations to see the biggest and most immediate impact in meeting CO2 emissions-cutting goals. There are those who will argue with the science of this latest report, and with concerns about climate change in general, but this is likely to be a harbinger of government action to come, and, once rules are in place, the debate is over.