Abstract:

To meet climate goals, it is necessary for companies to become Paris-compliant. Two recent initiatives, the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI) and Assessing low-Carbon Transitions (ACT) initiative, have proposed methodologies to benchmark companies􏰀 performances against science-based emission reduction levels. However, these initiatives have several limitations, including a shifting baseline, and a focus on carbon-intensities. Here, we propose a methodology that overcomes these limitations by ensuring each company strictly adheres to the Paris carbon budget. Applying our metrics to the ten highest emitting companies in the Australian electricity sector, we find that none are currently Paris-compliant, with every year of delayed action increasing their required rate of decarbonisation and hence the exposure of billions in assets to transition risk. We demonstrate that even using the more prescriptive ACT guidelines allows these companies to exceed their carbon budgets up to 235% by mid-century. Applying our proposed method ensures accurate tracking of progress, which is imperative for companies and stakeholders to align their decision-making with the Paris Agreement.

Citation:

Rekker, S., Ives, M., Wade, B., Greig, C. & Webb, L. (2021). 'The Paris-compliant company: Measuring transition performance using a strict science-based approach'. INET Oxford Working Paper No. 2021-03. (In review: Nature Communications)
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