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July 24, 2012

UK govt drafts greenhouse gas reporting regulation

The UK government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has issued a draft regulation outlining the requirements for UK listed companies that are to report on their greenhouse gas emission levels starting April 2013.

The document sets out step by step requirements that companies will have to follow when disclosing their greenhouse gas emission information.

Plans to introduce greenhouse gas emission reporting was confirmed at the Rio+20 summit last month by the UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who said the government is committed “to give sustainability reporting a global push”.

Non-profit organisation Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) welcomed the draft regulation, however warned that it fails to introduce a standardised reporting approach.

CDP’s executive chairman Paul Dickinson said there is a wide range of laws and schemes worldwide regarding the way companies report climate change-related information.

“In order to achieve consistency in reporting, the legislation must be explicit on the matter of frameworks for reporting compliance,” Dickinson said.

CDP recommended that any legislation or guidance issued should point companies to the Climate Change Reporting Framework issues by the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB).

The proposed regulation will affect more than 1,100 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) main markets regardless of their size or revenue.

Almost 30% of them have already disclosed their greenhouse gas emissions through CDP.  In terms of market capitalisation, according to CDP, that accounts for more than 90% of the LSE main markets.  

CDP also recommended that the government views this as a first step and expands the regulation to include all large private companies in the UK by 2016.

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