California Adopts CO2 Reporting Mandate


California Adopts CO2 Reporting Mandate
Vincent Thomas Bridge in the foreground and an oil refinery with smoke stacks in the background as seen from the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, California. © Felipe Sanchez

California Governor Gavin Newsom finally signed into law a first-in-nation bill that requires large U.S. corporations to disclose their carbon emissions.

SB 253 mandates all companies that do business in California with annual revenue of $1 billion and above disclose their emissions. An estimated 5,400 companies could be affected, including Exxon, Chevron and Valvoline.

Having sat on his pen for two weeks, Newsom put his name to a flurry of environment bills but vetoed others. Another bill that passed muster was AB 1305, that requires companies to publicly disclose information on their carbon offset credits. The effect is to make it more difficult for companies to make exaggerated claims against their offset investments.

At the same time, Newsom vetoed SB 390, which would have made it illegal to trade offsets that don’t live up to their claims.

Around the world, a growing number of companies in a wide range of industries have begun calculating their carbon footprints, in some cases to comply with government regulation, in others on their own accord.

Several lubricant industry trade groups and associations have developed standard methods for such calculations or are in the process of doing so.