Fewer than one in 200 companies have credible climate plans, says CDP

An exhaust emits fumes as a car is driven through Richmond in London
An exhaust emits fumes as a car is driven through Richmond in London, Britain December 2, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo/File Photo

LONDON, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Fewer than one in 200 companies who submit climate change-related data to a leading environmental disclosure platform have credible climate transition plans, the nonprofit platform CDP said on Wednesday in its latest review of corporate submissions.

The data underlines the scale of the gap between company pledges to transition to net-zero carbon emissions, and the detailed plans that show how a firm will align its entire business model to meeting those targets.

Of 18,600 companies which provided CDP with data only 81 - or 0.4% - disclosed information against 21 key indicators that CDP includes in a questionnaire and which it says represents a credible plan.

The 81 companies was a lower number than the 135 which disclosed against key indicators last year, which CDP said was down to the platform "raising the bar, in accordance with latest science, on what constitutes a credible climate transition plan".

CDP's key indicators include everything from whether the company board has oversight of a climate plan to financial planning.

"The need for companies to develop a credible climate transition plan is not an additional element but an essential part of any future planning," Amir Sokolowski, global director, climate, at CDP said in a statement.

"Companies must evidence they are forward planning in order for us to avert the worst impacts of climate change and to send the correct signals to capital markets, that they will remain profitable."

Companies headquartered in Japan ranked highest with 16 firms disclosing against the 21 indicators. Six out of 1,448 UK-based companies provided full disclosure, CDP found.

CDP has emerged as the world's biggest repository of environmental data submitted on a voluntary basis by companies, which are under pressure from their shareholders to disclose how they plan to navigate the transition to a lower-carbon future.

The platform worked on its analysis with the UK Transition Plan Taskforce, which is developing mandatory standards for listed companies and financial firms to ensure plans are comparable.

Reporting by Tommy Reggiori Wilkes; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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