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Canada’s largest companies inactive on climate change

Canada's largest corporations are not taking action to curtail climate change, although they are aware of the risks...


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October 6, 2006 by Canadian Plastics

Canada’s largest corporations are not taking action to curtail climate change, although they are aware of the risks and opportunities associated with it, according to the findings of the Carbon Disclosure Project Report Canada (CDP4) 280, released by the Conference Board of Canada on October 4.
For the report, the Conference Board requested that Canada’s 280 largest publicly traded companies disclose their strategies regarding climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions.
Of the 78 firms that responded, only 36 per cent have a GHG reduction plan, and just 20 per cent have a reduction target with a timeline.
Slightly more than half the companies that responded came from sectors with intensive GHG emissions, such as gas and electrical utilities, mining forest products and integrated oils.
Additionally, 62 per cent of Canada’s top 50 companies were among the respondents.
As part of the survey, respondents were asked to include forward-looking financial statements and strategic information. Although the majority of respondents did not release this information, of those that responded to that request, 82 per cent failed to address the financial significance of climate change to their operations.
In total, 25 per cent of respondents rising to 40 per cent of those in emissions-intensive sectors cited regulatory uncertainty in the first Kyoto commitment phase as the major barrier to estimating the potential cost of reducing emissions, the report read.