$2 trillion is needed over the next 3 decades to reach a low carbon economy: Executive director
Companies in industries with the biggest carbon footprints aren’t reporting how their emissions feed into financial risk, according to an analysis of corporate reports by the Carbon Tracker Initiative.
The nonprofit, which looked at 134 financial statements from last year in sectors spanning fossil fuels, mining, manufacturing, automotive and technology, found that almost all failed to consider the financial impact of climate change. Auditors are generally also ignoring the financial risks of emissions, according to the study published on Thursday.
“Our review is not of whether companies have set appropriate climate targets or even whether they are on track to achieve them, but instead whether companies have considered climate related risks to items in the financial statements,” Rob Schuwerk, Carbon Tracker’s U.S. executive director and a co-author of the report, said. “We did not find any companies that showed comprehensive evidence of consideration in the financial statements.
The study also found that no company disclosed all the information recommended by Climate Action 100+, which is an investor-led effort to get the world’s biggest polluters to address climate change.
“As a generalization, energy firms tended to show more consideration than others, likely reflective of both the more immediate exposure to the energy transition and the increased scrutiny of those firms,” Schuwerk said.
Efforts are under way to set uniform disclosure requirements, with the International Sustainability Standards Board now working on templates for reporting the potential financial impacts from climate and sustainability risks. The ISSB is expected to complete its work within months.
Data remains a problem, however, with a July EU study warning investors that estimates of climate transition risks will vary, sometimes widely, depending on which data provider they used.
“The corporate carbon emissions data landscape is still in a state where the ‘hic sunt dracones,’ here be dragons, warning applies,” researchers behind the EU study said.