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Out of all the modes of transportation, road vehicles generate the lion's share share of CO2 emissions, according to the recently released Carbon Disclosure Project Transport Report. Splitting the sector broadly into the three areas of land, air and sea reveals that road transportation accounts for approximately 80 percent of the transportation sector's total contribution to CO2 emissions, while rail accounts for just 0.5 percent. Air represents approximately 13 percent of the share of CO2 emissions, with sea transportation at just 7 percent.
South American and European companies lead on putting emission reduction plans in place. A geographic focus on the full set of 291 transportation companies in CDP 2009 reveals that South American and European companies demonstrate the highest levels of setting reduction targets. In South America, 60 percent and in Europe 52 percent of all transportation companies asked to report through CDP have set an emissions reduction plan, compared to 18 percent in Asia and 47 percent in the U.S. and Canada.
Transportation companies lag behind Global 500 in setting targets. Thirty-six percent of the largest 291 transportation companies have set reduction targets, compared to 51 percent of the largest global companies. This shows that many more transportation companies need to set reduction plans in order to catch up with other sectors.
Nearly half of the world's largest transportation companies have not yet recognized risks and opportunities. Fifty-three percent of the world's largest 53 transportation companies cite regulatory risks and 59 percent regulatory opportunities. Despite the fact that transportation is exposed to a range of regulations globally, this figure is low, when compared to peers in other sectors within the Global 500.
Sixty-four percent of Global 500 companies outline regulatory risks and 69 percent of companies regulatory opportunities. However, those transportation companies that do report climate change risks and opportunities show a detailed understanding of the issues. In particular, regulatory risks such as caps and taxes are most frequently cited. In addition companies cite other risks such as increased operating costs, increases in extreme weather and associated disruption and decrease of high carbon services.
Some companies capitalize on the opportunities. Leading companies are also identifying and developing opportunities in new low carbon fuels and advanced technology vehicles (such as hybrids or hydrogen vehicles). They also report that competitive advantages can be achieved through carbon efficient products and cost savings from increased fuel efficiency.
Some companies are reporting significant investments into carbon reductions and low carbon technologies. Although carbon investment reporting is in its infancy, with just 9 percent of 291 companies reporting data on current investments and 4 percent on future investments, significant capital is flowing into the development of low carbon solutions in the sector. Almost $32bn has been invested into low carbon investments in the sector. New technologies include installation of renewable energy systems; developing more efficient transport routes, low carbon fuels, and innovative vehicle design; or product innovation into hybrids or electric powered vehicles.
The full report is available from the CDP web site.
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