Will your CO2 emissions data be collected and reported to the government in the near future? A consumer rights group said that a new rule proposed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would lay the groundwork for doing so.
On March 21, the SEC proposed a rule titled “The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors” (pdf). The nearly 500-page rule would require SEC registrants—mostly public companies, investment advisers, and broker-dealers—to report certain climate-related information including their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The GHG emissions are categorized into three scopes. Scope 1 is the registrant’s direct GHG emissions. Scope 2 is its indirect GHG emissions from purchased electricity and other forms of energy. Scope 3 is indirect emissions from upstream and downstream activities in a registrant’s value chain.
“Scope 3 requires these companies to estimate the carbon output of the use of their product by the consumer, which means they’re going to have to go out into the field and talk to consumers,” Will Hild, executive director of Consumers’ Research, America’s oldest consumer protection organization, said in an interview with NTD’s “Fresh Look America” program on July 12.
“Let’s say you bought an internal combustion engine lawnmower. The lawn mower company will need to know how many times you mow your lawn. They’re going to have to go out and ask people that and research that. And so you could see how this starts to lay the groundwork for scoring actual individual people’s activities,” said Hild.