Force carbon reporting – lobby’s plea

Captains of industry and investment houses have been joined by prominent politicians in calling on the Prime Minister to support legislation which would force big business to make its carbon footprint a matter of public record.

Many leading businesses already report their carbon emissions on a voluntary basis but so far Government has refused to make mandatory reporting a part of the Climate Change Bill.

Now blue chip lobby group Aldersgate, which counts dozens of MPs among its ranks as well as a having corporate membership which reads like a who’s-who of pioneers of British CSR, is asking Government to rethink.

In a letter to Gordon Brown, the group says corporate carbon disclosure is too low and voluntary guidance on reporting is not enough.

Peter Young, chairman of the Aldersgate Group, said: ‘The Government must reconsider its position in light of this overwhelming endorsement for mandatory reporting. This issue requires genuine leadership, not more back tracking and prevarication.

“There is no doubt that the Government’s new stance is in direct conflict with the transition to a low carbon economy which it espouses. Without a clear signal now that smart regulation on carbon reporting is inevitable, potential emission reductions in the corporate sector will be lost and delayed.

“This is a classic opportunity for Government to demonstrate it is responding to serious market failures with balanced, efficient, accountable and effective regulation.”

Former Environment Minister and Aldersgate member Michael Meacher said: “Support for mandatory carbon reporting now comes from the CBI, the Aldersgate Group and a wide range of leading blue-chip companies and leading investors.

“I ask the Government to look again at the matter, and not to seek in any way to water it down, but in time to extend it.”

Elliot Morley, also a former Environment Minister and Aldersgate member, added: “At the CBI conference, delegates were asked whether they supported mandatory reporting, and 82% were in favour.

“If 82% of the CBI is in favour of a new regulation, why are we messing about in this way?”

Sam Bond

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