NETHERLANDS - The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a global standardised mechanism by which companies report their greenhouse gas emissions to their investors, has today announced it is expanding to the Netherlands.

Co-funded by ABP, the largest pension fund in the Netherlands, and the Dutch ministry for environment  (VROM), CDP will over the next coming months work with the 50 largest Dutch listed companies to gather key information on climate data.

Paul Dickinson, co-founder and chief executive of CDP, told IPE this morning his organisation will, until the end of the month, look for more Dutch pension fund signatories to join the initiative.

So far, several of the world's largest pension funds and others haved backed the organisation, including Dutch bank ABN Amro, and financial groups Robeco and Merrill Lynch.

Speaking at the launch in Amsterdam today, Rob Lake, head of sustainability at the €218bn ABP fund, told delegates his scheme is now trying to incorporate a climate-related analysis into overall company research.

Calling for a stronger long-term policy input, Lake said "investors need some clarity on future policy framework".

He added investors need a legally-binding UN agreement to reduce greenhouse gases. "This is why we are supporting the CDP," said Lake.

Dickinson today also presented the CDP report 2007 for the Financial Times Global 500 index companies on behalf of 315 institutional investors in Amsterdam today.

According to the report, in which 77% of the FT500 companies took part, the gap between climate awareness and action is narrowing, while more companies and investors see strategic opportunities that accompany climate risks.
Launched at the end of 2000, the CDP is a collaborative initiative by investors concerned about the possible impacts of climate change on the planet and on their portfolios.

The project involves sending the chairmen of the world's 500 largest companies a short questionnaire, covering the degree to which climate change poses risks or presents opportunities to the company in question, and how its management is addressing the issue.

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