A study by scientists from the USA showed that if if global corporations paid damages for emissions that cause climate change, their profits would drop by 44%.
Scientists analyzed the data of 15,000 companies and found that the "corporate carbon loss" from this share alone could reach trillions of dollars, reports Green Queen.
It is noted that scientists studied companies from the USA, Great Britain, the EU and other countries that are required to report on their emissions. They followed the proposed The Environmental Protection Agency estimates the cost of carbon pollution at $190 per ton.
Researchers found that if companies were to pay for their contribution to carbon pollution, they would lose 3% of their revenue. In the US, losses would be 18.5% of profit and 2% of revenue.
It is noted that the largest carbon loss was found in four energy-intensive industries. Thus, the energy, utilities, transport and industry sectors account for 89% of the total corporate carbon loss. Losses in these industries would exceed profits, particularly by double the utility sector.
The study showed that the banking and investment sectors cause the least carbon losses (up to 1% of their profits). Among the countries, the largest carbon losses are caused by Russia and Indonesia, and the lowest by Great Britain and the USA.
It is noted that the study took into account only direct emissions. That is, for example, emissions from the production of a car, not its operation.
According to study co-author Christian Loys, the calculations also apply to only a fraction of the world's companies, with many public firms excluded and private ones not listed at all. However, the study showed which activities are particularly costly to society from a climate perspective.
Scientists say that mandatory disclosure of information about emissions can help reduce their number, because:
- without reliable measurements and reliable data, it is impossible to have a policy of limiting emissions;
- it will help financial markets to evaluate existing and expected future environmental policies;
- such requirements can incentivize businesses to control their environmental impact even without a climate policy.
The authors argue that mandatory disclosure can hold firms accountable for their commitments to reduce emissions and achieve climate neutrality. Currently, there is a lack of data on whether firms are delivering on their climate pledges or simply engaging in greenwashing.
"It is difficult to imagine a successful approach to the climate problem that is not based on mandatory information disclosure," the scientists said.
Earlier, EcoPolitic wrote, that an anonymous survey showed that 58% of CEOs worldwide and 68% in the US said their companies were guilty of greenwashing.
As EcoPolitic previously reported, a study by the independent analytical center InfluenceMap showed that the 5 largest oil and gas companies exaggerate their environmental contributions in public messages and continue to direct the majority of investments to oil and gas projects.