The majority of Australia’s leading listed companies are not adequately prepared for the scale and long-term nature of climate change, according to a new report.
The CDP Australia and New Zealand Climate Change Report 2013, released today, has found that the carbon reduction targets set by most ASX 200 companies were short term, and inadequate to meet the huge challenge presented by climate change.
But the report lays some of the blame for this blind spot with Australia’s governments, for failing to set longer-term expectations and legislating requirements for reducing carbon emissions.
“Many of the notable international examples of corporate carbon reduction targets reported through CDP in 2013 are from companies headquartered in countries with commitments to reduce their emissions by 80% or more by 2050 such as the UK, Germany and Japan,” says the report.
The same theory applies in Australia, where two notable examples of ASX 200 companies with longer-term carbon reduction targets – Commonwealth Property Office Fund and Charter Hall – came from Sydney, in alignment with the City’s 2030 carbon reduction target.
According to the report, four ASX 200 companies rated the risks associated with regulatory uncertainty surrounding climate policy and carbon pricing as “high” in their CDP 2013 responses. Just five companies rated the risks associated with carbon pricing as high.
The Coalition’s plan to repeal the Clean Energy Future Act rated high among the range of risks associated with carbon price uncertainty, with company responses to the CDP 2013 information request submitted well before the 2013 federal election.