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Emissions estimations should embed a precautionary principle

To align their portfolios with the Paris Agreement, investors need to know the emissions of companies they invest in. Estimating these should start from a precautionary principle that disincentivizes free-riding and protects the planet.

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Fig. 1: Application of the precautionary principle to estimation of under- and non-reporting companies.


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We thank H. Adamsson, M. Bytheway, T. Cojoianu, N. Humphreys, J.-C. Nicaise Chateau, C. Posti, M. Rezec, P.-S. Yu and G. Zdanceviucite for constructive discussions on precautionary estimation techniques. A.G.F.H. acknowledges funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme for research on Fintech (grant no. H2020-ICT-825215) and Science Foundation Ireland (award 19/FIP/AI/7539). J.R. acknowledges funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant no. 820829; CONSTRAIN).

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A.G.F.H. and J.R. contributed equally to the writing of the paper.

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Correspondence to Andreas G. F. Hoepner or Joeri Rogelj.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Peer review information Nature Climate Change thanks Kornelis Blok, Timo Busch and Jonatan Pinkse for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Hoepner, A.G.F., Rogelj, J. Emissions estimations should embed a precautionary principle. Nat. Clim. Chang. 11, 638–640 (2021).

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