Top Indian companies estimate an economic impact of about ₹7.14 lakh crore (nearly US$100 billion) over the next five years from the risks posed by the climate crisis, according to a report by CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project), an organisation that works on a global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions.
The report, titled "Building Back Greener", said the numbers were based on responses by 42 of 220 Indian companies that responded to investor requests and disclosed climate data. Of the 220 companies that were covered by CDP, 60 are among BSE's top 200.
The report also highlighted that growing disclosure requirements were prompting more Indian businesses to wake up to the threat of the climate crisis, and commit to reducing their carbon footprints.
Around 88% of 67 large companies covered by CDP reported incentivising top management for climate-related actions; 99% of the responding sample have board-level oversight of climate-related issues, the report said. Out of the 220 companies covered by CDP's disclosure project 67 are large businesses and the rest are micro, small and medium enterprises.
Meanwhile, the number of companies that identified the financial or strategic impact of climate-related risks rose from 88% in 2019 to 94% this year, as compared to the previous report released last year. Among the principal areas of concern were direct operations (the most severely affected and the exposed most to physical risks), followed by emerging regulations, and market risks.
"Forty-two of 67 responding companies have monetised the economic impact of climate risks. The rest didn't monetise the risks but did mention the risks they were facing. Most companies said they faced economic impacts from current and emerging regulations... They also fear emerging regulations like emission caps or emission trading schemes," said Damandeep Singh, Director CDP India.
He added that there were other risks such the impact of the climate crisis where valuation of their companies may fall; the future of the oil and gas sector; and impact on their reputations for being seen as not doing enough.
The report said that four Indian companies — Hindustan Zinc, IndusInd Bank, Mahindra & Mahindra and Tech Mahindra -- have made it to the CDP. A list for the first time in recognition of their bold climate action.