Government delays mandatory carbon reporting decision

28 March 2012

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28 March 2012 | Angeline Albert

Despite receiving details on the cost of reporting carbon emissions from purchasers, the UK government has said it has not yet made up its mind whether to introduce mandatory reporting on greenhouse gases.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) was supposed to decide by yesterday whether or not to make this reporting compulsory. This week the department presented a short report to Parliament Company reporting of greenhouse gas emissions explaining why no decision had yet been made.

The report said Defra’s consultation on mandatory regulation proposals, which ran from May to July 2011, had received 2,018 responses from procurement departments at UK companies providing detailed information on their estimated costs and benefits linked to reporting greenhouse gas emissions. It said: “No decision…has been reached. Ministers require some additional time to consider this evidence to come to a decision. This evidence-gathering process has taken longer than anticipated and the analysis of the results is ongoing as the costs and benefits are fully considered so ministers make an informed decision.”

This week, Defra also published a report Insights into Climate Change Adaptation by UK Companies, which reveals that although more than 80 per cent of FTSE 100 companies say climate change is a major risk to them, less than half (46 per cent) have plans to protect themselves. This research, compiled by the Carbon Disclosure Project, is based on data submitted by 89 companies who are members of the FTSE 100.

With many FTSE 100 companies operating internationally, much of their risk efforts are focused outside the UK. The metals and mining industry in particular perceives itself as particularly exposed to international physical climate change risks. The utilities sector has a more national UK focus with an emphasis on rain/drought, snow/ice, infrastructure, uncertainty in demand forecasting and water availability.


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