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Global 500: GHG emissions on the rise

The curve is still heading in the wrong direction for big business’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The carbon footprint of the world’s 500 largest companies (Global 500) grew 3.1% from 2010 to 2013, according to research by Thomson Reuters and sustainability consultancy BSD Consulting. This is a troubling trend given that GHG emissions should have seen a 4.2% reduction over the same period if the world is to have a chance of staying within a 2C average increase in global temperatures compared to pre-industrial levels.

Collectively, the Global 500 accounted for 13.8% of world GHG emissions. At 4.96 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalents in 2013, the world’s biggest businesses have a larger carbon footprint than the entire European Union’s 2010 GHG emissions, at 4.66 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalents. The top 20 emitters, meanwhile, produced a combined 2.77 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalents, representing more than half of Global 500 GHG emissions in 2013.

The energy sector is one of the biggest industrial GHG emitters, accounting for 37% of the total Global 500 emissions. Some energy companies are bucking the trend, at least partly. French energy giant Total cut its direct and indirect emissions by 11.8% in 2010...

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carbon markets  Clean technology  emissions  energy finance  GHG  Global 500  green bonds  Investment  obesity  WHO 

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