Worldwide potential to cut business GHGs revealed

28th June 2016


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  • Mitigation ,
  • Renewable ,
  • Management/saving

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IEMA

Annual global greenhouse-gas (GHGs) emissions from businesses could be cut by 3.7 billion metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent, according to research by the New Climate Institute and the CDP.

The research measured the potential impact of five global business initiatives on energy and climate change based on current membership. They are:

  • RE100, which commits business to using 100% renewable energy;
  • EP100, under which businesses have pledged to double the amount of economic output from each unit of energy;
  • science-based targets, which see companies making targets in line with scientific assessments on how to keep temperature rises below 2°C;
  • zero deforestation, a pledge by 50 companies to remove commodity-driven deforestation from their supply chains; and
  • Low Carbon Technology Partnerships Initiative (LCTPi), which aims to accelerate the development of low carbon technologies and scale up their deployment.

Current GHG reduction commitments under these initiatives would achieve 60% of the cuts pledged by all countries in the Paris agreement through the nationally determined contributions (NDCs), which are reductions by 2030 of six billion tonnes .

Around 300 companies are currently signed up to these initiatives, the report noted. Over the past 12 months, 174 companies signed up to the initiatives, compared with 49 companies in the previous year, it said.

If all relevant companies sign up, membership of the initiatives could rise to 3,500 and GHGs could be cut by 10 billion tonnes, the study found.

The report was launched at the Business and Climate Summit in London. Christiana Figueres, the outgoing executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said: ‘A universal climate agreement of nations also needs universal support from the private sector beyond Europe and North America.

‘I would urge committed business to reach out to peers in Africa, Asia and Latin America in order to further seed, catalyse and build action everwhere and in support of COP22 in Marrakech.’

The report calls on governments across the world to:

  • encourage utilities to offer renewable energy contracts and make it easier for businesses to sign up;
  • help companies build their own renewable electricity installations;
  • support research and development for low carbon technologies;
  • offer grants and capital depreciation to make energy efficiency investments more attractive;
  • create incentives for buyers and sellers of sustainable products; and
  • reduce the administrative and cost burden of certification for producers, so it is easier for them to produce commodities without deforestation.

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