‘Make carbon reporting mandatory’

A powerful pro-environment lobby group is calling on Business Secretary Peter Mandelson to force big business and other large organisations to bring forward the timetable for compulsory reporting of their emissions.

The Aldersgate Group has published an open letter to Lord Mandelson calling for compulsory reporting as soon as possible.

The incoming Carbon Reduction Commitment will make the energy use of thousands of larger organisations a matter of public record and will give indications of how much of this energy comes from renewable sources.

But a spokesman for the organisation told edie that while the CRC would force the hand of many organisations when it came to on-site energy use, the Aldersgate Group was looking for something more comprehensive.

He said the letter commends the Government for publishing voluntary guidance on reporting GHG emissions to help UK companies manage and reduce their carbon footprint, but points out that, despite this voluntary guidance being in place, only around half of all FTSE350 companies actually disclosed their carbon emissions.

Mandatory GHG reporting would ensure greater accountability and transparency to help companies identify cost and carbon savings, says the Aldersgate Group.

It would also create a level playing field, argues the organisation, allowing investors and consumers to make more meaningful comparisons, thus driving further emissions reductions.

Steve Waygood, Head of Sustainability Research and Engagement, Aviva Investors and one of the signatory members of the Aldersgate Group letter, said: “We believe that climate change represents a profound market failure.

“There is a clear need for much tougher policy measures on the international stage, as well as at the national level. While Copenhagen failed to deliver internationally, the UK is well placed to make carbon reporting mandatory in the UK.

“This would allow investors to more easily identify climate change risks and opportunities. If we conclude that climate change is potentially material then we have an informed basis on which to make our investment decisions.”

Over 50 MPs, including Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and Conservative Shadow Climate Change Minister Greg Barker MP, have signed the letter, along with a diverse range of organisations including Aviva, BSkyB, The Cooperative, Barratt Homes, National Grid, United Utilities, BIFFA, Friends of the Earth, WWF and Reed Elsevier.

Sam Bond

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