Mandatory reporting rules escape review

22nd April 2014


IEMA welcomes signals that legislation introduced last year to force large firms to disclose CO2 emissions will not to be reviewed under "smarter regulation" plans

In February, the environment department consulted on the suggestion that mandatory greenhouse-gas (GHG) reporting rules, which came into force on 1 October 2013, should be examined as part of the government’s “smarter guidance and data” review.

After looking at the reporting obligations that Defra places on businesses, experts from consultancy WSP recommended that the rules, which require organisations listed on the London Stock Exchange to include data on their annual GHG emissions in their financial reports, should be revoked “if benefits are not realised”.

However, in the final version of its plans for “smarter” regulation, published earlier this month, Defra makes no reference to reviewing or revising mandatory reporting rules.

IEMA has welcomed the move and called on government to be more consistent in its approach to climate change policies.

“Just two months ago we were very concerned to hear government was so quickly reconsidering its own policy. We are delighted that the latest review proposals no longer include mandatory carbon reporting,” commented Nick Blyth, policy and practice lead at IEMA.

“We call on ministers to maintain their commitment to this important policy and also to the government’s earlier stated intention to consider extending mandatory carbon reporting to all large businesses.”

Defra’s “Better for business” plan outlines all of the 336 reforms resulting from the government’s red tape challenge, detailing what has been achieved and a timetable for further changes.

The document confirms that it aims to cut the amount of time UK businesses spend reporting information to Defra and its bodies by 20% by April 2016 and that the department aims to introduce a simplified reporting system in June 2015.

It also confirms that third-party certification is set to play a bigger role in Environment Agency inspection regimes. According to the document, the so-called EMS+ pilots held last year were a success and the regulator is to work with industry bodies to rollout a scheme by December 2014.


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