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.