* Decision expected within next few months
* Indecision creates uncertainty for businesses
* All options still under review
LONDON, March 27 Britain's government on Tuesday
said it will miss an April 6 deadline to decide on whether
companies should be forced to report their greenhouse gas
emissions, as it needs more time to assess more than 2,000
replies to a public consultation.
But the delay creates more uncertainty for businesses, said
non-governmental and business groups.
Under the UK's Climate Change Act 2008, the government is
required to propose regulation on emissions reporting from
companies to help Britain achieve its climate objectives, or to
explain to Parliament why no such regulation has been made.
A public consultation, held between May and July 2011,
proposed four options - one voluntary and three mandatory - to
promote more emissions reporting from companies. The government
had set an April 6 deadline to report back to Parliament.
"A decision hasn't been made," said a spokesman for the
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). "Our
aim is to make a decision within the next few months," he said,
noting all options were still on the table.
Last year's consultation drew a total of 2,018 written
submissions, with many companies providing detailed information
on estimated costs and benefits of voluntary versus mandatory
Paul Simpson, chief executive of non-governmental
organisation the Carbon Disclosure Project, said the delay in
the decision of mandatory emissions reporting was both
surprising and disappointing.
"By failing to make a concrete call, the UK government is
not responding to market needs," he said in a statement.
Rhian Kelly, director for business environment policy at
leading UK business organisation CBI, called the delay
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
(ICAEW) said while mandatory disclosure of emissions was broadly
accepted, there was still some debate to be had about where
companies should disclose the data.
"ICAEW has always argued against cramming ever more
information into the annual report," said Richard Spencer, head
of sustainability at ICAEW.