Businesses in the US could save as much as $780 billion (£500bn) in the next 10 years or $190 billion (£121.6bn) in 2020 alone if they act now to cut carbon emissions.
A new report released by the WWF and Carbon Disclosure Project (CPD) claims firms need to reduce emissions by an average of 3% every year until 2020 – equivalent to cutting total annual greenhouse gas emissions by 1.2 gigatonnes compared to 1990 levels – to unlock the billions of dollars in cost savings.
The report suggests the US corporate sector would need to invest 3-4% of their capital expenditures on average each year on “low-risk and profitable” carbon reduction projects to reap the big profits.
Paul Simpson, CEO of CDP said: “The report points to specific financial opportunities that US corporations can seize. But it is critical that senior management devote much more attention to the issue to drive the necessary near-term increase in capital expenditure required for companies to capture the full economic benefit of greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
“Corporations must act now not only to address environmental risk but also to aid economic recovery in the United States and build resilience. Investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy saves cost, stimulates innovation, creates jobs and builds energy independence and security.”
Last month ELN reported the UK was the second largest emitter of carbon dioxide in Europe last year according to figures for the European Union.
The UK Government also called for the EU to commit itself to reducing carbon emissions by 50% by 2030.