Firms demand carbon reporting from Britain

Firms demand carbon reporting from Britain

LONDON - Reuters
Firms demand carbon reporting from Britain

Traffic passes the Harrods department store in London. Severall UK firms urge to reveal carbon emission figures. REUTERS photo

Britain’s government should force large firms to provide annual information on their carbon emissions in addition to reporting profits and executive pay, an alliance of businesses and environmental groups said, backed by public opinion.

Environmental groups and companies including PepsiCo, Microsoft and Marks & Spencer, working together as the Aldersgate Group, called on the U.K. to speed up plans to enforce carbon emissions reporting requirements.

Business accounts for nearly a third of Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions, and the introduction of mandatory emissions reporting would encourage companies to better manage and reduce their carbon footprints, the alliance said in a statement released yesterday.

Under the Climate Change Act 2008, the British government is required to propose regulation on emissions reporting to help Britain achieve its climate objectives or to explain to Parliament why no such regulation has been made.

The Conservative-led coalition missed an April 6 deadline to take a decision, however, saying it needed more time to assess how to proceed after receiving more than 2,000 replies to a public consultation.
In a letter to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, the Aldersgate Group urged the government to clarify its position and make a swift decision.

“The introduction of mandatory (greenhouse gas) reporting would help to ensure greater accountability and transparency; create a level playing field, and help enable investors and consumers to make meaningful comparisons,” it said.

Peter Young, chairman of the Aldersgate Group and author of the letter, said mandatory reporting was needed because voluntary efforts had run their course.