The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced this week that industrial greenhouse gas emitters in the US must begin collecting data on their carbon emissions starting in January 2010, with disclosure required in the first quarter of 2011.
For the first time, we begin collecting data from the largest facilities in this country, ones that account for approximately 85% of the total U.S. emissions. The American public, and industry itself, will finally gain critically important knowledge and with this information we can determine how best to reduce those emissions.”
This is a critical first step towards being able to manage – and then potentially trade – carbon emissions in the US. This is also critical step towards greater transparency into how different companies are performing on carbon issues.
More and more GoodGuide users are comparing products for not only the health impacts on them personally, but also for their broader environmental impacts such as global climate change. GoodGuide currently draws data from a number of sources on carbon reporting. But this data is currently only as good as firms’ voluntarily choose to make it.
Groups like the Carbon Disclosure Project and ClimateCounts have made great strides in motivating firms to disclose more and better information on their carbon emissions. But having the EPA step into this issue and set a level playing field for all firms, is a great step forward on transparency.