Emissions Gap Report Indicates the Importance of Corporate Efforts

Posted by: user Comments: 0 2 Post Date: December 5, 2018

Emissions Gap Report Indicates the Importance of Corporate Efforts

A little over 53 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e), Greenhouse Gases (GHG) emissions rate showed relative stability worldwide through 2014, 2015 and 2016. The latest Emissions Gap Report 2018 of UN Environment however, saw the figures rise by 0.7 GtCO2e in 2017, deepening concerns about global warming.

The UN Environment urged that GHG emissions be brought down at an accelerated pace, to achieve the target of limiting global temperature to 2°C above the pre-industrial levels by 2020. If GHG emissions remain at the current levels, global warming may touch 3°C by the end of the century.

Implication

An obvious implication is that corporates in Hong Kong and Mainland China must take even stronger actions to reduce emissions at a faster pace. While the UN Environment sets specific reduction targets to be met, companies should view reduction process as a continuous journey rather than a tick-and-cross achievement list, i.e. even the rate of reduction needs to be pushed relentlessly.

The need for companies to fulfill their responsibilities as corporate citizens cannot be overemphasized. Besides, it is becoming increasingly clear that reducing carbon footprint is a profitable proposition for most companies. When a company makes efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its business, creativity of its management and employees also gets a boost.

The Emissions Gap Report expressed apprehensions about global GHG emissions peaking in 2020. The peak may not come even in 2030 if efforts are not intensified with a sense of urgency. UN Environment has called for urgent steps to ensure that global emissions of GHG start declining without any further delay. Some countries managed to reach the emissions peak; but they still need to continue the journey on reducing emissions at a faster pace.

Corporate Efforts

Non-state Actors (NSAs) have a large role to play in addressing the issue of global warming. Hong Kong companies have started making efforts to reduce emissions and are showing optimistic progress. However, more needs to be done. The first step is to improve levels of disclosure, because only after realizing the magnitude of environmental impact can a company take effective and measurable steps to reduce its environmental impact. A systematic and effective organisation of environmental data is therefore crucial to paving this journey into success. Environmental, social and governance issues are intertwined; it is time to step up for impact.

 

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