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Governments around the world have committed to reporting on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as part of the Paris agreement. This is essential in providing data that can inform climate change policy and ensure that commitments to reduce emissions are met. Reporting of emissions at company level is already mandatory in many developed countries and there is a growing requirement for data. Companies who do not have systems in place to manage and report on this data are at risk of penalties associated with non-compliance and may deter potential investors.
Most developed nations already have mandatory emissions reporting for energy intensive industries. For example, power stations, industrial plants and airlines, have been included in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme since 2005 (airlines since 2012) and facilities, including oil, gas and chemical producers and industrial waste landfills, emitting 25,000 metric tons or more per year of greenhouse gases have been required to report to the US Environmental Protection Agency's Greenhouse Gas Reporting Programsince 2010.
In the UK, GHG reporting is required for compliance with voluntary climate change agreements that provide for a discount from the climate change levy (a tax added to electricity and fuel bills). Reporting on gas and electricity supplies (subsequently converted to GHG emissions) is also mandatory under theCRC (Energy Efficiency) Scheme which affects any organisation using 6,000 megawatt hours or more of qualifying electricity supplied through settled half hourly meters.However, this scheme has been slated to be abolished with effect from the end of the 2018/19 compliance year due to its administrative complexity. Voluntary GHG reporting, for example through the CDP, is also carried out by many large organisations as it enables them to understand their emissions sources and identify opportunities for reductions, which may also lead to cost savings. It also meets the demands of customers and investors concerned with a company's exposure to future carbon costs or motivated by market opportunities for low-carbon products. There are however concerns that voluntary reporting does not offer the same level of data quality, consistency and transparency that is required by mandatory programs.
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