Consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions reporting

April 18th, 2012 by WWF

WWF has said that reporting of consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions should sit alongside, but certainly not replace, the existing approach to measuring emissions.

Dr Keith Allott, head of climate change at WWF-UK, commenting on the Energy and Climate Change Committee’s report on Consumption-based emissions reporting said that the UK has “a huge responsibility to show leadership” on the issue, arguing that it is “not credible for the UK to claim progress towards a sustainable, green economy” unless the impacts of both UK territorial and consumption emissions were addressed together.

(click on report cover to download)

“However you measure the UK’s emissions, it’s clear that a lot more needs to be done to reduce them – through improving energy efficiency and decarbonising the power sector through renewables, and also by reducing and managing our consumption,” Dr. Keith Allott said.

“Addressing consumption is the nettle that successive governments, worried about how voters will react, have refused to grasp. The evidence suggests, however, that consumption-based emissions reporting can be used to engage people, to change behaviour, and to help people make better decisions about how we consume.

WWF backed the Committee’s finding that there was no evidence that investments in electricity-intensive industries are affected by climate policy.

(click on report cover to download volume II)

It says that if the UK government is going to compensate businesses for increases in the cost of electricity – which are being driven primarily by volatility in the fossil fuel market, not climate policy – then strong and transparent commitments on energy efficiency and emission reductions must be sought.

WWF also pointed out that the government has an early opportunity to address part of the gap between consumption-based and conventional ‘territorial’ reporting by formally bringing emissions from international aviation and shipping into the UK climate change act (as already takes place under the Scottish climate change act).

The UK Committee on Climate Change has recommended full inclusion of these emissions, and the government has to decide whether to accept this recommendation by the end of 2012.


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