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Carbon reporting a positive step, but urgency lacking

20 June 2012

WWF-UK today said that the Government’s plans to introduce carbon reporting for listed companies were a positive step, but that carbon emissions still needed to be tackled with a much greater sense of urgency.

Responding to the announcement David Nussbaum, Chief Executive of WWF-UK, who is attending the Rio+20 summit with the official UK delegation, said: “We’re pleased that the Government has eventually caught up with the requirement in the Climate Change Act to introduce carbon reporting for businesses. [1]

“It’s encouraging that the Government has gone for a mandatory approach, though it is slightly surprising that the Government didn’t extend this to all large companies as the overwhelming business response indicated that they should [2].

“This is symptomatic of wider foot-dragging on the issue of carbon emissions. The Rio+20 talks are highlighting governments around the world failing to recognise the scale of the environmental problems we face and not going far enough, and fast enough, to address them.”

The group said moving from voluntary to mandatory reporting was an important symbolic move; but there was a way to go before it addressed the urgency and scope of a true climate-credible response in the face of an ever-accelerating pace of global warming.

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. Defra launched a Consultation on GHG emissions on 11 May 2011: http://www.defra.gov.uk/consult/2011/05/11/ghg-emissions/. The government was obliged to announce its decision on mandatory carbon reporting (MCR), by 6 April 2012, according to a Climate Change Act (2008) deadline.

2. Unreleased submissions to Defra’s consultation on MCR, obtained by WWF-UK through freedom of information (FOI) requests, showed that there was overwhelming business support for mandatory carbon reporting. The full consultation showed that: 299 organisations sent a response to the consultation; 60.5% of the organisations (181) supported option 3 for MCR of all companies, both private and public; 23% of organisations (69) supported the status quo of voluntary carbon reporting; only 4.3% of organisations (13) supported option 2 of MCR for quoted companies, which is the government's proposed option. 14 (4.6%) companies supported changing the existing Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) and 22 (7.3%) submitted their own ideas.

For more information:

• Rio: Robin Clegg, Senior Press Officer WWF-UK, Mob: 07771 818707, E-mail: rclegg@wwf.org.uk

• UK: George Smeeton, Senior Press Officer WWF-UK, Tel: 014830412 388, Mob: 07917 052 948, email: GSmeeton@wwf.org.uk