carbon cuts fall short of curbing global warming

An urgent deadline is approaching, one that the inhabitants of this little blue-green planet are on track to miss. Unfortunately, the consequences of letting this deadline slide by are likely far more dire than a citation or a fine. Think cataclysmic.

The deadline in question: The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) stated in 2007 that by 2050, developed economies must reduce GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions by at least 80 percent in order to avoid dangerous climate change.

Yet despite the efforts of global companies to cut emissions, Earthlings aren't on pace to meet the necessary reductions in GHGs until 2089, 39 years too late.

Such are the findings of "The Carbon Chasm" [PDF], a report released this week by The Carbon Disclosure Project, a nonprofit organisation that holds the largest database of corporate climate change information in the world.

The report, written in conjunction with BT and drawing on data from and interviews with companies such as Cisco, Microsoft, IBM, and Nokia, isn't entirely doom and gloom. It provides recommendations for organisations to develop and hone GHG-reduction targets to help the global community meet the critical 2050 deadline.

One of the key recommendations from the CDP report: Every company should set a CO2-e (carbon dioxide equivalent, which covers the six major greenhouse gases, normalized to CO2) reduction target.

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