Big business takes steps to prepare for global climate deal

Leading companies are getting “climate ready” say analysts at CDP as new report reveals internal carbon pricing plans

By Ed King

The world’s largest companies are putting plans in place to price carbon dioxide and comply with tougher new climate regulations.

That’s the finding of a report published today by environmental reporting analysts CDP, which said many multinationals are now “climate ready”.

It revealed 150 companies it works with have an internal price per tonne of carbon dioxide ranging from US$ 6-234.

High profile businesses incorporating future climate policies into their risk management strategies include Dow Chemical Company, Bank of America, Walt Disney, Mars and ExxonMobil.

CDP said the analysis demonstrated many businesses are now leading governments when it comes to setting clear climate regulations.

“These companies want, and are calling for, clear pricing and regulatory certainty to help them plan their climate-related investments, and they want to see more certain, internationally linked carbon markets,” it said.

The findings are in response to CDP’s annual climate change questionnaire, on behalf of 767 investment groups worth around $92 trillion in assets.

In a statement to CDP Bank of America said it used carbon accounting to assess risks linked with underwriting new electricity projects in the US.

UK construction giant Balfour Beatty said pricing was part of its “risk register” designed to mitigate any impacts of future carbon tax increases.

Goldman Sachs said it used an internal price to ensure it was “well positioned to participate in future carbon opportunities”.

Report: UN climate summit set for major carbon pricing announcement

According to CDP there are now 17 carbon pricing regions around the world, including China, the EU and RGGI the US and Canada.

Brazil, Chile, Thailand and Turkey are among nine other countries working on their own plans for a carbon price or tax.

CDP chief executive Paul Simpson told RTCC global expectations on carbon pricing were generally lower that reality, due in part to negative publicity surrounding Australia’s ill-fated carbon tax.

“The surprise on the corporate side is that many companies are using a carbon price when they are not regulated to do so,” he said.

Simpson said he believed more companies would reveal they are using internal CO2 prices over time, citing the efficiency gains they can generate by accounting for energy use.

A major announcement on the state of carbon markets and moves towards a global price is expected at next week’s UN climate summit in New York.

The World Bank’s special envoy for climate change Rachel Kyte told RTCC the scale of moves towards carbon accounting would likely surprise the 122 heads of state at the meeting.

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