The UK government has bowed to backbench pressure and amended
the Climate Change Bill to incorporate carbon emissions in
the business review.
All quoted companies will now have to include information
on the amount of emissions produced - including its fleet,
on-site energy use, business travel and on-site equipment.
The move will become statutory this summer.
Conservative spokesman for business enterprise and regulatory
reform Alan Duncan said - "the idea of carbon reporting
sounds a good idea, but we don't currently have a standard
auditing process for carbon. So, until such a mechanism is
established, it's impossible to expect businesses to comply
- particularly smaller businesses that are already overwhelmed
by heaps of red tape."
Backbenchers and other organisations such as Christian Aid
believe that current environmental reporting requirements
are too weak in order to meet the Climate Change Bill target
of reductions - 26%-32% by 2020 and 60% by 2050.
Eliot Whittington, political adviser at Christian Aid, said
- "We want government to make environmental reporting
mandatory - not voluntary."
The CBI endorsed the mandatory reporting amendment, but doesn't
believe that it will be implemented until 2013. The change
will be represented in the Commons this month and is unlikely
to be dropped. A Whitehall source believes that it would be
"highly embarrassing" if it did not go through.
Alistair Darling, in his first budget, earlier this year
announced that there could be plans to amend the Climate Change
Bill by increasing the reduction to 80% by 2050.