Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Europe's Environmental Legislation Could Forecast Our Future

In many ways, Europe is more active at improving its environmental stewardship than the U.S. One piece of legislation in Britain, which passed the end of October, could spell a forthcoming trend in the U.S. As reported by Environmental Finance, "The UK government on Tuesday [October 28, 2008] passed its landmark Climate Change Bill, including amendments that will require companies to report on their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 2012."

The report further stated "Many industrial and power generating companies already report their emissions under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. Large commercial and public-sector organisations will be obliged to report emissions under the UK’s forthcoming Carbon Reduction Commitment, a cap-and-trade programme scheduled to start in 2010. However, the bill will extend reporting much more widely."

Imagine if there were such a reporting requirement in the U.S. Surely, if there were, there would then be some media some where that would post a scorecard of sorts for consumers and investors. And as consumers and investors become more savvy about choosing more environmentally friendly products, this transparency would force these companies to come clean -- literally.

Scientific American published a catch-all article on November 5, 2008 that summarizes current environmental issues, and what the outgoing and incoming administrations may do about these issues. Carbon reduction is likely to happen under the Obama administration.

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