Microsoft, Disney Among Companies Calculating Carbon Footprints

Microsoft, Walt Disney Co. and General Motors are among hundreds of companies calculating how much they spend on carbon emissions to show investors they are concerned about global warming, a study said on Tuesday.

More than 700 other businesses around the world plan by 2018 to introduce so-called carbon pricing, said the report by the U.S.-based Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES).

The findings come amid efforts by U.S. President Donald Trump to scale back climate change-related regulations on grounds they are burdensome to the economy.

Putting a monetary value on carbon dioxide emissions helps limit the burning of fossil fuel, which contributes to global warming, and signals to investors that companies are aware of the financial risks posed by global warming, the study said.

Some 500 companies, including 80 in the United States, reported using carbon pricing, it said, drawing on an array of previous research.

Many oil and gas companies such as British energy company BP use an internal, or “shadow,” accounting method to track their carbon emissions, it said.

“It just stands to reason that investors, in looking at enterprises, of course are looking at ‘Are they resilient to all kinds of changes in the future?'” Bob Stout, vice president for BP America, said during a telephone briefing with reporters and others.

“Climate change and carbon pricing as a policy obviously are key factors that businesses need to look at,” he said.

Other companies charge carbon fees to internal business units.

Microsoft, which charges its business units for emissions ranging from electricity consumption to employee air travel, sees carbon pricing as crucial “regardless of national policies,” said Liz Willmott, a company program manager.

“We as companies can enable partnership and collaborations with countries to help them meet the Paris targets,” she said.

Trump has withdrawn the United States from the historic 2015 Paris global agreement to fight climate change, saying the accord would cost the nation trillions of dollars, kill jobs and hinder oil, gas, coal and manufacturing industries.

According to the World Bank, 42 governments have or plan to have a way to tax carbon emissions or have a cap-and-trade system that allows industries with low emissions to sell their unused permitted capacity to larger emitters.

The United States is not among them.

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