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Mandatory reporting delay a 'major disappointment’

March 27 2012 - The Government’s decision to defer a decision on introducing mandatory reporting of carbon emissions for UK companies was a ‘major disappointment’ Christian Aid said today.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs told Parliament that gathering evidence of the costs and benefits involved had taken longer than anticipated and the findings were still being analysed.

Under the Climate Change Act, the Government had until next month to either introduce the measure, or explain why it had not done so.

Christian Aid’s head of advocacy and influence Paul Brannen said today: ‘We have spent five years campaigning for legislation that would force UK companies to reveal details of their greenhouse gas emissions.

‘This Government has been in power nearly two years. That seems plenty of time to come to a decision. The delay is a major disappointment that many in the business community will share. They want clear rules that everyone has to follow. While we appreciate the need to consult widely, the Government now needs to indicate a clear timetable for its decision process.

‘The delay is all the more concerning in the run up to Rio+20. If the summit is to succeed, countries like the UK need to bring concrete examples of effective climate policy to the table. A strong legislative framework around emission reporting is a key piece of the jigsaw and this is an opportunity for the UK to show real leadership on this.

‘The activities of UK businesses fund up to 15 per cent of the global carbon emissions which cause the rising temperatures already having a devastating impact on the lives of the poor in a number of developing countries.

‘Mandatory reporting will reveal where corporate responsibility lies, giving firms a major incentive to clean up their acts. At present, companies that publish figures do so voluntarily in a way which is incomplete and unaudited. That is not good enough if the UK is to make a major contribution to tackling climate change.’ 

‘Christian Aid and our supporters will continue to work constructively with the Secretary of State and her officials to ensure the UK remains on track with its climate commitments as set out in the UK’s ambitious Climate Change Act’..

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Further Information from Andrew Hogg on 0207 523 2058 or ahogg@christian-aid.org or call duty press phone  44 (0)7545 501 749.

Notes to Editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in nearly 50 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the lives they deserve.

2. Christian Aid has a vision, an end to global poverty, and we believe that vision can become a reality. Our report, Poverty Over, explains what we believe needs to be done – and can be done – to end poverty.  Details at http://www.christianaid.org.uk/Images/poverty-over-report.pdf

3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of 100 churches and church-related organisations that work together inhumanitarian assistance and development.  Further details at http://www.actalliance.org

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit www.christianaid.org.uk