Chemical firms ‘lagging on going green’

Major chemical companies are failing to meet international climate change obligations despite innovating in low carbon products. That’s according to a new report from CDP, which suggests the industry responsible […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Major chemical companies are failing to meet international climate change obligations despite innovating in low carbon products.

That’s according to a new report from CDP, which suggests the industry responsible for an eighth of global industrial carbon emissions is unlikely to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement at its current rate.

Although many of the companies within it contribute to reducing emissions by producing innovative products like batteries for electric cars and solar cells, the sector is struggling to move away from highly polluting upstream processes.

This includes activities such as extracting raw materials from the ground and related initial processing.

Market regulations also differ across China, Europe and the US, making a cohesive industry effort to decarbonise more difficult.

The report suggests Chinese companies make up 40% of global chemical sales but are currently not disclosing any useful environmental data.

Despite this fragmentation, the industry is still seeing average emissions reductions and efficiency improvements of around 2% to 5% a year.