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Most companies still releasing unsustainable amounts of CO2-study

Wednesday, 18 Dec 2013 | 8:40 PM ET

SAO PAULO, Dec 18 (Reuters) - The majority of large global corporations that have reported their annual greenhouse gas emissions for several years now are still releasing more carbon dioxide than they should, a new study published on Wednesday showed.

And most companies scrutinized in the study are still not using science-based thresholds to set emissions targets and to drive actions to reduce their carbon footprint.

Coordinated by U.S.-based Climate Counts, an organization that measures the role corporations play on climate, the report tried to analyze emissions of 100 companies against science-based targets that seek to limit rising temperature to two degrees Celsius.

The best-placed in the ranking were software company Autodesk, consumer products giant Unilever and pharmaceutical Eli Lilly.

Besides taking actions that were aligned with what science recommends, these companies were among 25 in the list that reported increasing revenues along with declining emissions.

"It is a proof that decoupling of growth and emissions is possible, at least in the short term," said Climate Counts in a statement.

The authors of the report chose 100 companies from 10 different sectors.

The main criteria to include corporations to the study was the regularity with which they have reported their greenhouse gas emissions over the last years.

Taking that into account, it is possible that the situation considering the corporate world as a whole is probably worse regarding actions to avoid climate change.

Many companies, particularly in less developed countries, do not report their carbon footprint.

"One of the premises of this report is that while sovereign nations must come to an agreement on how to reduce global CO2 emissions, there is an increasing role to be played by the business community," said the report.

Countries that are parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are currently negotiating a new global agreement to tackle rising CO2 emissions.

The new agreement would include emerging economies, which didn't have any targets under the current deal (the Kyoto Protocol).

(Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Michael Perry)