A new report on transport from the Carbon Disclosure Project is explicit: “A future impacted by regulation and a likely increase in the cost of carbon will place a hefty financial burden on excessive polluters who will be forced to modify their products and services to emerging new standards.”
And it goes on: “More stringent regulations will increase the materiality of climate change for investors and drive up costs for companies unable to manage their greenhouse gas inventories. A growing number of companies have recognised the importance of climate change to their long-term success and are embarking on long term reduction plans.”
The Carbon Disclosure Project is used by some 2,500 organisations around the world to measure and disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and climate change strategies.
The report says that in Europe 52 per cent of all transport companies (across all modes) asked to report through CDP have set up emissions reduction plans, compared to 18 per cent in Asia and 47 per cent in the US and Canada. Perhaps surprisingly, the highest proportion was in South America – 60 per cent.
The CDP argues that the most effective carbon management route for transport is emissions reduction, but fewer than half of the transport companies surveyed have a clear understanding of the risks and opportunities. Only nine per cent reported having current investments in new technologies or emission reduction initiatives.
It found that the airline industry (including airports, air freight & logistics) outstrips road and rail in terms of setting targets. From this it concludes that regulation of the airline industry is encouraging companies to set targets, ahead of their peers in road and rail. Its message is that regulation works.
All this should come as no surprise -; after all commercial vehicles have been subject to increasingly strict pollution controls from the European Union for a number of years. Nevertheless, it would be foolhardy to ignore the signals and fail to plan accordingly.Malory Davies FCILT,