Corporate polluters fail basic tests

None of the 134 companies assessed for disclosure of climate-related risks passed basic tests.

The annual review by independent non-profit Carbon Tracker group found that carbon-intensive companies were not sufficiently disclosing the effects of climate-related risks and net zero emissions plans in their financial statements, an omission that deprived investors of key information.

98% did not provide evidence that their 2021 financial statements had taken into account the effects of climate-related matters.

For example, French multinational Air Liquide and carmaker Mercedes-Benz indicated that climate change would not have a material impact on their financial statements, but did not explain that conclusion.

Mercedes-Benz declined to comment.

Air Liquide, responding after publication, said its in-depth studies of its climate change risks deemed them “not material” at a group level, and that it was developing decarbonisation solutions such as carbon capture.

Very few companies disclosed how climate considerations would affect their assets, or detail underlying assumptions, such as an implied carbon price, the Carbon Tracker report said. Most audit reports, meanwhile, did not thoroughly assess material climate-related matters, nor indicate whether they had considered the effects of net zero emission targets.

Not a single company met all of the seven tests the authors used in their assessment.

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