California Emissions Disclosure Law First in Country
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California Emissions Disclosure Law First in Country

By Simon Johns - Sep 19, 2023

California’s new carbon emissions disclosure law has reached the desk of California Governor Gavin Newsom. When signed, it will make Bill 253 the first mandatory emissions reporting law in the country.

On its own, California is the world’s fifth largest economy. It also emits 370 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, according to the California Air Resources Board.

Despite being state legislation rather than federal, the law will have a potentially wider-reaching impact. About 5,000 companies will have to disclose their emissions. Many of these comapnies operate globally, according to a report in the New York Times. One of them is Chevron, which has its headquarters in the state and produces base oil, additives and lubricants around the world.

California’s emissions disclosure law will require U.S. companies with revenue of more than U.S. $1 billion that do business in the state to disclose emissions from all scopes – Scope 1 direct emissions, Scope 2 electricity purchase and use, and Scope 3 indirect emissions from supply chains, travel, employee commuting, procurement, waste and water usage. Disclosure will be carried out using the Greenhouse Gas Protocol standards and will be assured by a third party.

“In announcing he will sign SB 253, Governor Newsom is reaffirming California’s global climate leadership. These carbon disclosures are a simple but intensely powerful driver of decarbonization. When business leaders, investors, consumers, and analysts have full visibility into large corporations’ carbon emissions, they have the tools and incentives to turbocharge their decarbonization efforts,” said Senator Scott Wiener, who introduced the bill.

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