Monday, December 10, 2007

The Growing Power of Public CO2 Reporting: Verification and Audits Required

The movement from voluntary reporting to mandatory reporting and possibly to regulation of GHG continues. Important efforts include Carbon Disclosure Project, and below is a small sampling of firms that have reported. These disclosures along with efforts like bring climate change to the Board Room and C-suite of many firms.

California with it's California Climate Action Registry will be the first US effort to legally mandate GHG reporting, here for the largest emitters in California (around 800 I believe).

With public disclosure and more mandatory reporting, reporting veracity becomes paramount. What is the definition of "material" emissions to include or exclude? Do firms not have incentive to 'pad' their baseline year with extra GHG in order to later receive accolades for reductions in the future? How can firm-to-firm comparisons be reliability calculated and used. As the calculation of profit from revenue and costs and it's associated eco-system of auditors GAAP rules and government oversight, a similar system for GHG will need to be developed if reporting is to have any truth and comparability.

Company 000 metric tons CO2
American Electric Power 145,400
Wal-mart 20,389
3M 6,540
Anheuser-Busch Companies 3,032
Caterpillar Inc. 2,343
Eastman Kodak Company 1,856
Bank of America Corporation 1,380
Abbott 1,352
Advanced Micro Devices 341
Sun Microsystems 235

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