Laws and regulations that require companies, both private and public, to disclose their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions continue to expand in the European Union and in the United States. Under the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), beginning in 2025, EU-based public companies and large EU-based private companies will be required to report all material Scope 1, 2, and 3 GHG emissions as set forth in the European Sustainability Reporting Standards. In the United States, California recently passed landmark climate-related disclosure legislation that will require U.S. companies that do business in California and have greater than $1 billion in annual revenues to file annual reports publicly disclosing their Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions beginning in 2026 and Scope 3 GHG emissions in 2027. This legislation is expected to be joined by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) proposed climate-related disclosure rule. Initially proposed in March 2022, if finalized, the SEC rule would require public companies to disclose their Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions and material Scope 3 emissions. And later this year, world policymakers, activists, and business leaders will convene at COP28 to discuss global progress towards achieving the net-zero GHG emissions targets set by the Paris Agreement.
The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) sits at the center of all these efforts. Established by the World Resources Institute and the World Business Counsel for Sustainable Development in 2001, the GHG Protocol establishes comprehensive standards for private and public entities to calculate and report their GHG emissions and track progress towards their emissions targets.