January 17, 2008 / 11:41 PM / 12 years ago

Climate Registry nears 1st U.S. emissions reporting

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Aiming to get a jump on what they see as inevitable mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, 58 companies, cities and organizations have volunteered to report emissions to the Climate Registry, the nonprofit organization said on Thursday.

Alcoa's headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is seen February 13, 2007. REUTERS/Jason Cohn

“The Climate Registry is building the infrastructure and the (reporting guidelines) to get the companies, states and provincial programs started,” said Diane Wittenberg, executive director of the Climate Registry.

Among the companies agreeing to report emissions were Shell Oil, the U.S. unit of Royal Dutch/Shell Group, Xcel Energy, Alcoa, Duke Energy, PG&E, PPG Industries and National Grid. The United States Postal Service (USPS) also signed on.

The companies and government and private organizations will begin reporting emissions to the growing registry in June, Wittenberg said. In several years, this may help facilitate a national trading system or tax for carbon dioxide emissions, she said.

The Climate Registry’s 51 members include 39 U.S. states, six Canadian provinces, three Native American tribes, two Mexican states and the District of Columbia. Incorporated last March, it is partly an outgrowth of the older, separate California Climate Action Registry.

The registry held its third board meeting this week in the Los Angeles area. Board members are the 51 states, provinces and tribes. This week’s meeting was the first to include the reporting companies and government and private organizations that have signed up to report emissions.

Companies and organizations that will report data to the registry will soon far outnumber the board membership. Wittenberg said that by June when the first data is received, more than 100 “reporters” are expected, up from the current count of 58. Those that join by May 1 will be known as “founding reporters” of the national registry.

Among the biggest institutions sending a representative to this week’s meetings was the U.S. Postal Service, which does $75 billion of business annually.

Marguerite Downey, environmental specialist for the USPS, said the quasi-governmental federal agency is preparing for what “for the inevitable federal mandate” by joining The Climate Registry.

“That way we can hit the ground running,” she said.

Downey said the registry “is the foundation for developing our corporate strategies for lowering our carbon footprint. How can we as a corporation respond if we don’t know our carbon footprint?”

Downey said the USPS, with 700,000 employees at 35,000 facilities and a fleet of 200,000 vehicles that travel every street in the United States, is “sending a message” to other corporations to join the registry.

States that have not joined The Climate Registry are Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska. Most of those states have oil refineries.

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Editing by David Gregorio

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