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Push for mandatory reporting in 2012

2011 has a different feel to 2010 when it comes to mandatory carbon reporting. The Cancun summit may not have brought too much to the table, but early movements this year suggest that businesses are taking matters into their own hands.

Back in 2008, a group of MPs and organisations believed that environmental reporting requirements were too weak to meet the Climate Change Act targets of a 34% reduction in emissions from 1990 levels by 2020 and a 60% reduction by 2050.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) endorsed the mandatory reporting amendment but didn’t believe that it would be implemented until 2013.

The Co-operative Group, the Aldersgate Group, WWF and Christian Aid are now petitioning the Government to advance the introduction of mandatory carbon reporting for large businesses by April 2012. They led the submission of a letter to DEFRA, DECC and BIS in January, having succeeded in obtaining endorsement from 190 business including Aviva, AstraZeneca, BAA, Centrica and Nestle, and civil society organisations.

The public also have an opinion on the matter. The Co-operative carried out a survey in over 2,700 food stores during the first week of December. Almost 230,000 customers (72.4% of participants) voted ‘yes’ when asked, ‘should businesses report on carbon emissions?’

With these figures in mind it comes as no surprise that the Co-op group have launched an Early Day Motion on mandatory reporting. Those in support of the motion can email their MP here.

The road to mandatory reporting seems ultimately difficult to navigate, especially with the US and China failing to create a solid lead for the world to follow. However, small victories such as partial carbon reporting through the CRC, and the support of many businesses for the current campaign, mean that success in achieving mandatory carbon reporting might not be too far off.  

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