UK investors join with politicians for mandatory GHG reporting call

Group sends letter to UK Secretary of State for Business.

A group of UK institutional investors and corporations has joined with over 50 UK Members of Parliament (MPs), to write to Lord Mandelson, Secretary of State for Business, calling for greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting to be made mandatory for all large UK organisations as soon as possible. The MPs signing the letter included Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrat party and Greg Barker, Conservative Shadow Climate Change Minister. The letter came after a report last week by the Carbon Disclosure Project that showed some companies falling far behind on carbon targets. The letter was co-ordinated by the Aldersgate Group, a group of businesses and environmental groups. Its investor signatories included Aviva Investors and The UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF). Steve Waygood, Head of Sustainability Research and Engagement at Aviva Investors, said: “We believe that climate change represents a profound market failure. There is a clear need for much tougher policy measures on the international stage, as well as at the national level.While Copenhagen failed to deliver internationally, the UK is well placed to make carbon reporting mandatory in the UK. This would allow investors to more easily identify climate change risks and opportunities. If we conclude that climate change is potentially material then we have an informed basis on which to make our investment decisions.” The letter commends the UK Government for publishing voluntary guidance on reporting GHG emissions. However, it points out that, despite this voluntary guidance being in place, only around half of all FTSE350 companies actually disclose their carbon emissions. It said mandatory GHG reporting would ensure greater accountability and transparency to help companies identify cost and carbon savings. It said it would also create a level playing field, allowing investors and consumers to make more meaningful comparisons, thus driving further emissions reductions. Companies signing the letter included National Grid, the UK electric provider and United Utilities.