Reporting on the future of climate change

In October 2013, emission reporting was introduced to Annual Reports via the updated Companies Act 2006, with the Strategic Report updates. This year another leap forward in climate change reporting will be likely, due to the UN Climate Change talks in Paris in December.

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Paris 2015 will see governments meet to agree on measures to limit climate change to 2℃. This could come in many forms: taxes for large carbon intensive companies and industries, plans to help reduce carbon emissions in less economically developed countries, legislation, new energy investment and much more. The key is to further develop sustainable growth.

Last year, the Department for Energy and Climate Change outlined the road to Paris 2015 and our progress in ‘Paris 2015: Securing prosperity through a global climate change agreement’.

The UK has already agreed legally binding targets through the Climate Change Act 2008, which aims to reduce 80% of carbon emissions (from 1990 levels) by 2050. Paris 2015 builds towards a global movement to combat climate change. The meeting will create a legally binding global climate change agreement across all 195 countries in the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) and the UK has set aside three key components they wish to gain from the agreement:

  1. Ambitious and fair commitments from all countries to reduce emissions.
  2. Tracking progress, building trust and facilitating increased ambition in the future.
  3. Providing support to those who need it and helping all countries, particularly the poorest and most vulnerable, to develop climate resilience.

The outcome of the agreement is likely to have a significant impact on businesses over the next five years, including more diverse investment in new energy, taxes and penalties for carbon intensive companies. It is something that will develop throughout the year and will have far reaching implications in years to come.