The top 250 listed companies in the world account for a third of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions, a study showed on Tuesday. The report comes a day after the World Meteorological Organization said the concentration of greenhouse gas carbon dioxide touched a record high in 2016, and that the speed at which these emissions have increased was unprecedented.
Coal India, Gazprom and Exxon Mobil topped the list when carbon dioxide emitted by companies and by consumers using their products was measured.
The Thomson Reuters Financial & Risk white paper was written in collaboration with the Constellation Research & Technology, emissions tracking group CDP and BSD Consulting. It found that only about 30% of these 250 firms had set goals to curb them.
Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, 200 nations promised to curb emissions to prevent heat waves, downpours and rising sea levels. The countries said they would work to involve the private sector. But the study found that in the past three years, emissions from the group of 250 were flat “when they should have been going down by roughly 3% a year”.
“250 CEOs, that’s a relatively small auditorium if you can bring together the leaders who really have a significant impact on the fate of the planet,” David Lubin, the co-author of the report at Constellation Research & Technology, told Reuters.
Tim Nixon, a co-author at Thomson Reuters, said the study found “no evidence” that companies with stronger policies to reduce carbon emissions paid a penalty in terms of profits or returns.