Page last updated at 03:17 GMT, Monday, 22 September 2008 04:17 UK

Firms warned about climate change

Welder at UK factory
Early action to tackle climate change makes business sense, says report.

Companies that fail to tackle climate change could lower the value of their businesses, a report by the UK's Carbon Trust suggests.

The report said firms, together are worth 3.8 trillion ($7 trillion) globally, could boost market value by taking steps to tackle emissions.

The research covered six sectors of the economy including car manufacturing, brewing and consumer electronics.

Automotive firms stood to gain the most by adopting greener strategies.

But the car sector also risked the greatest loss by failing to take onboard changes needed to meet ambitious emission targets in the coming years.

The Carbon Trust said auto firms could reap great benefits from technological advances in the field of hybrid and electric cars.

'Ambitious targets'

Bruce Duguid, head of investor engagement at the Carbon Trust, said changes to the Kyoto protocol due next year will force many companies to take the climate change more seriously.

"There will be some ambitious targets and changes that will have to take place across industry."

"Climate change could start the next industrial revolution...its both an opportunity and a threat," he added.

The survey looked at six industries; aluminium manufacturing, automotive, oil and gas production and exploration, oil and gas refining, consumer electronics, building materials and brewing.

Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust, said investors and industry should wake up to this "trillion dollar wake up call".

"The financial risks of inaction are just too vast to ignore," he added.

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