Local lawmakers propose state’s biggest businesses to publicly report their carbon emissions

California Connection

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, unveiled a proposal to require California’s biggest businesses to publicly report their carbon emissions.

“We’re in a race against the clock against the clock when it comes to climate change,” he said.

The bill, SB 260, would require publicly-traded and privately-held domestic corporations making making than $1 billion a year to report emissions from power and electricity use, along with energy used on non-core functions, such as supply chains and employee commutes.

It would also require these companies to set targets to lower their emissions.

“Frankly, many of these companies internally already track their emissions, so just to be clear, we’re talking about multi-billion dollar companies that have detailed reporting on their financials,” explained Michael Schmitz, co-director of Carbon Accountable.

Lawmakers estimate about 5,000 companies would be required to provide this information, including companies like Walmart, Amazon and Google.

If passed, companies would need to start requiring the information by 2024 and setting the target emission goals by 2025.

The proposal would also be the first of its kind in the country.

Lawmakers said they anticipate pushback from some in the business community, who might argue this would add another regulatory hurdle.

“I don’t view this as an unreasonable ask to not have catastrophic climate impacts. We’re seeing this in the businesses world. There are more and more companies moving in this direction — not quickly enough and not doing enough — so we need to set up a structure here,” Wiener said.

The proposal now waits to be assigned to a committee at the state capital. No hearing is scheduled on this yet.

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