Report

Doubling Down - Europe's Low-Carbon Investment Opportunity

European private sector low-carbon investment toward a net-zero emissions future

From new green infrastructure projects to electric vehicle fleets and renewable power, companies see new business opportunities in developing low carbon products and services that amount to over €1.2 trillion.
Steven Tebbe, Managing Director, CDP Europe

To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, global temperature rise must be limited to no more than 1.5°C, requiring global carbon emissions to decline to net-zero by the middle of the century. Accordingly, the EU has set a new target to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Most of the low-carbon investment needed to achieve this goal must come from the private sector, so the extent to which European companies’ low-carbon investment plans are compatible with this objective is a critical question. 

This report, jointly published by CDP and Oliver Wyman, aims to answer that question by examining European companies’ 2019 disclosures to CDP. For a set of 882 companies comprising over 70 percent of European market capitalization, the report analyses patterns in low-carbon investment by sector, the economics of emissions reduction initiatives and the critical question of whether corporate investment patterns are consistent with the net-zero goal.

Five key findings:

Number One: In 2019, 882 European companies responsible for over 2.3 GtCO2e of emissions reported €124 billion of new low-carbon investments to CDP.

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Number Two: More investment in transformational breakthrough technologies is needed – particularly in the materials sector.

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Number Three: Low-carbon capital investment must double to place the European corporate sector on track for net-zero emissions by 2050.

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Number Four: The business case for low-carbon investment is clear: companies expect to avoid 2.4 GtCO2e while contributing over €40 billion to their bottom line. 


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Number Five: Closing the low-carbon investment gap requires action on multiple fronts. 

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Doubling Down - Europe's Low-Carbon Investment Opportunity


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