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Top 50 Emitters Threaten Global Climate Effort, CDP Says

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RWE Nuclear Power Plant
A cooling tower emits vapor into the night sky at a nuclear power plant operated by RWE AG, in Emsland, Germany. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

(Corrects period for increase in second paragraph of story originally published Sept. 12.)

Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Growing pollution at 50 of the world’s biggest-emitting companies threatens to undermine global efforts to contain rising temperatures, according to a report by CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project.

Carbon emissions from the 50 top emitters in the FT Global 500, including ArcelorMittal, RWE AG, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Exxon Mobil Corp., rose 1.7 percent in the four reporting years from 2009 to 2.54 billion metric tons in 2013, the report shows. Those 50 pump out 75 percent of all emissions reported by the Global 500.

The report was compiled at the request of more than 700 investors representing $87 trillion in investments. The annual review is aimed at spurring companies to manage their emissions and protect themselves from the effects of climate change.

“Clear scientific evidence and increasingly severe weather events are sending strong signals that we must pursue routes to economic prosperity whilst reducing emissions,” Paul Simpson, chief executive officer of CDP, said in a statement. “It is imperative that big emitters improve their performance in this regard and governments provide more incentives.”

A United Nations adviser to governments on climate change is due to publish the first part of its fifth report on the impacts of global warming this month. The study will show it’s “extremely likely” humans are to blame for more than half the observed temperature gains since the 1950s and it’s “virtually certain” sea-level increases have accelerated in the past two centuries, a leaked copy of the summary seen by Bloomberg shows.

CDP’s study found that most companies are yet to report emissions generated by indirect operations such as purchased electricity, goods and services, use of products bought by clients and customers, transportation and waste disposal. Pollution from these sources can represent as much as 47 percent of total emissions, according to CDP.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alessandro Vitelli in London at Avitelli1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lars Paulsson at lpaulsson@bloomberg.net

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