Since 2017, more than 2,300 suppliers from 50 countries have avoided 230 million metric tons of emissions through improvements in areas such as energy, waste and packaging, the spokeswoman told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Coca-Cola, BP and Samsung did not respond to e-mails seeking comment.
Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas responsible for rising temperatures. Increased concentrations of such gases have already led to a hike in average global temperature of about 1.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times.
Scientists warn that failure to curb the still-growing emissions could lead to crises from food and water shortages to worsening weather disasters and sea-level rise.
Investment by MNEs in developing countries "has the effect of reducing developed countries' emissions while placing a greater emissions burden on poorer countries", lead author Zengkai Zhang, of Tianjin University, said in a statement.
The study, which looked at data from 2005 to 2016, was published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change and said multinational companies' foreign investments accounted for 18.7 percent of total global carbon emissions in 2016.
The authors said emissions should be assigned to the countries that provide the investment in producing products rather than the countries where they are made to make companies more accountable.
"MNEs can do more and should do more," said Guan, a professor at UCL as well as Beijing's Tsinghua University.
Guan said it was crucial for European and American MNEs to set an example for Chinese and Indian companies that have started to invest more rapidly in Africa and Southeast Asia.
(Writer: Thin Lei Win, Thomson Reuters Foundation | Editor: Laurie Goering)https://t.me/kompascomupdate, kemudian join. Anda harus install aplikasi Telegram terlebih dulu di ponsel.