* PepsiCo, Microsoft and others urge government to act
* Government delays emissions reporting decision
* Three quarters in public survey back emissions reporting
LONDON, May 6 Britain's government should force
large companies to provide annual information on their carbon
emissions in addition to reporting profits and executive pay, an
alliance of businesses and environmental groups said, backed by
Environmental groups and companies including PepsiCo
, Microsoft and Marks & Spencer, working
together as the Aldersgate Group, called on the UK to speed up
plans to enforce carbon emissions reporting requirements.
Business accounts for nearly a third of Britain's greenhouse
gas emissions, and the introduction of mandatory emissions
reporting would encourage companies to better manage and reduce
their carbon footprints, the alliance said in a statement
released on Sunday.
Under the Climate Change Act 2008, the British government is
required to propose regulation on emissions reporting to help
Britain achieve its climate objectives or to explain to
Parliament why no such regulation has been made.
The Conservative-led coalition missed an April 6 deadline to
take a decision, however, saying it needed more time to assess
how to proceed after receiving more than 2,000 replies to a
In a letter to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, the
Aldersgate Group urged the government to clarify its position
and make a swift decision.
"The introduction of mandatory (greenhouse gas) reporting
would help to ensure greater accountability and transparency;
create a level playing field, and help enable investors and
consumers to make meaningful comparisons," it said.
Peter Young, chairman of the Aldersgate Group and author of
the letter, said mandatory reporting was needed because
voluntary efforts had run their course.
"Ironically, it would simplify the burdens on responsible
businesses for the government to now signal a single mandatory
requirement," he said.
In an online poll commissioned by the Aldersgate Group, more
than 75 percent of 2,044 adults surveyed across the United
Kingdom late in April said large businesses should be required
to report carbon emissions.
Colin Baines, campaigns manager at The Co-operative group,
the UK's largest mutual retailer, said mandatory reporting
should be introduced as soon as possible, given that it has
support from both business and the public.
"We have been doing this for over a decade, and if other
large businesses still aren't voluntarily reporting, it is
unlikely they ever will," he said.