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Defra asks for input on greenhouse gases emissions

Businesses and investors are being asked for their views on the most effective way to improve the reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
A consultation published by Defra sets out four options to achieve more widespread and consistent reporting of GHG emissions. The document is issued to seek the views on whether regulations should be introduced to make it mandatory for some UK companies to report on their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or whether the Government should continue to encourage measuring and reporting of GHG emissions on a voluntary basis.

Defra research indicates that reporting emissions has helped companies achieve reductions and cost savings, increase interest at board level of environmental issues and improve their environmental image with clients and investors.

Launching the consultation, Environment Minister Lord Henley, said: 'We want to see more businesses reporting their emissions, but a balance has to be struck to ensure we are not adding any unnecessary burdens. Our aim is to increase the number of companies which actively manage and report their emissions, so we want to hear from businesses how they think we will achieve more widespread and consistent reporting.'

The Climate Change Act requires the Government to look at introducing regulations requiring businesses to report their emissions. Prior to making a decision Defra are giving businesses the chance to select from the four options, three of which are for mandatory reporting and one option for voluntary reporting.

Defra will consider the responses to the consultation alongside other considerations such as the potential impact on business of each option, the government's drive to reduce regulation where possible, and the review of current evidence which was published in November last year.

Lord Henley added: 'More consistent reporting of emissions should help investors make better use of such data and help them incorporate climate change risk more effectively into their investment decisions. Many companies are already reporting their greenhouse gas emissions and seeing the benefits for themselves, because it's not only good for the environment but also good for business. Companies found that they saved money by focusing attention on energy efficiency, improved their green image with consumers and became a more attractive proposition to potential investors.'

View the consultation here.

The consultation closes on 5 July 2011 and a decision on the direction the Government will take is expected to be made in the autumn.

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