Only 30% of top 250 companies aim to cut emissions
A report published by Thomas Reuters states that the 250 biggest listed firms in the world contribute to a third of all man made greenhouse gas emissions.
The report, published on 31 October, also claims that only 30% of these companies have any strong plans to cut down on their emissions.
In the past three years, these firms did not meet the goal of reducing emission output 3% to keep in line with the Paris Agreement’s target of limiting global warming to 2C.
“Without continual reduction in emissions from this group of companies, effectively mitigating the long-term risks of climate change is not possible,” states the report.
Gazprom and Exxon Mobil, both oil and gas companies, were the highest on the list as the emitted the most CO2 at company and consumer levels.
Other companies within the market who have successfully managed to cut their carbon footprint have not suffered in terms of shareholder returns, profits, or employment.
In fact, Xcel Energy, Ingersoll Rand, and Total have all benefit from their emission reduction.
Last year Total chose to steer away from traditional coal production and has since launched a programme to fit 5,000 service station with photovoltaic (PV) panels by 2022.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.