Voluntary greenhouse gas reporting
Produced in partnership with Ardea International

The following Environment practice note produced in partnership with Ardea International provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Voluntary greenhouse gas reporting
  • Reasons for reporting GHG emissions
  • Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR)
  • Voluntary GHG reporting guidance
  • UK guidance
  • Climate Change Agreements
  • Other UK guidance
  • International GHG reporting schemes
  • GHG Protocol
  • Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi)
  • More...

Voluntary greenhouse gas reporting

Reasons for reporting GHG emissions

Pressure for companies and governments to report on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has been mounting over the last decade. Reports on the impacts of climate change, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports have intensified the pressure by adding urgency to the need to reduce emissions.

International agreements, such as the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement have also accelerated efforts by businesses and governments.

More and more companies are reporting voluntarily on their GHG emissions in response to demands by shareholders and other stakeholders. In the UK, quoted companies have been required to report on their GHG emissions since October 2013. See Practice Note: Mandatory greenhouse gas reporting.

In addition, many organisations are required to report on their emissions pursuant to regulatory schemes such as the EU emissions trading system and climate change agreements.

For more information, see Practice Notes: EU Emissions trading system—outline and Climate change agreements (CCA).

In the UK, the Climate Change Act 2008 places duties on the government to reduce the country’s carbon emissions. Following an amendment to Section 1 in June 2019, the Secretary of State is required to ensure that the UK achieves net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Section 4 requires the Secretary of State to:

  1. set for each succeeding period of five years beginning with the period 2008–2012 (‘budgetary periods’)

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