One-third of UK’s top companies emit enough CO2 to boost global warming by 2.7C

by | Mar 1, 2021

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Thirty-one of the FTSE 100’s constituents carbon dioxide emissions are incompatible with the goal of limiting the rise in global temperatures to 2.7C by 2050, reported the Guardian on Monday.
The 2015 Paris climate accords set a limit of global heating below 2C and aim for a global warming of 1.5C and a rise of 2.7C could have severe consequences on the environment and human life.

According to an analysis carried out by Arabesque, oil firms such as BP and Royal Dutch Shell are among those producing CO2 emissions that could see global temperatures skyrocket.

The study also revealed the need for emissions from the mining secor to be reduced dramatically, pointing the finger at companies such as Anglo American, Antofagasta, BHP, Evraz, Fresnillo and Polymetal.


Corporate Britain will be hard pressed to cut emissions to zero by 2050 in order to comply with the targets set by Westminster, especially as many companies have set emissions reduction targets but have unveiled few details of how they plan to do so.

Arabesque called out BP and Glencore as examples of companies that need to lay out specific plans to cut emissions.

Georg Kell, Arabesque’s chair, said he believed the momentum has turned decisively in favour of decarbonisation in recent years but that there were still issues with companies’ disclosures around their emissions.


“Too many companies are playing the benchmarks to look good,” Kell said. “Our current system does not adequately price the good and the bad. Our old systems still do valuations based on past experiences.”

Companies consistent with 2.7C heating or more included: Admiral Group (insurance), Anglo American (mining), Antofagasta (mining), Ashtead (equipment rental), Associated British Foods (food and retail), BHP (mining), BP (oil), Bunzl (packaging), DS Smith (packaging), Evraz (mining), Ferguson (heating products), Fresnillo (mining), Glencore (mining), Intertek (product testing), Morrisons (supermarket), National Grid (electricity), Next (retail), Pennon Group (water), Polymetal (mining), Rentokil Initial (pest control and cleaning), Rio Tinto (mining), Royal Dutch Shell (oil), Smith & Nephew (medical equipment), United Utilities (water) and Whitbread (hospitality).

Among companies whose activity did meet the 2.7C threshold, but committed to science-based targets, were: British Land (property), CRH (building materials), Croda (chemicals), International Airlines Group (airline), Smurfit Kappa (packaging) and Severn Trent (water).


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