The costs and benefits of mandatory greenhouse gas reporting – An independent analysis of the Defra Impact Assessment

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Kind, Christian; Mareike Buth and Till Mohns 2011: The costs and benefits of mandatory greenhouse gas reporting. An independent analysis of the Defra Impact Assessment. Godalming: World Wildlife Fund UK.

Discussions are underway in the UK as to whether large companies should be required to publish their greenhouse gas emissions each year. This step aims to give companies an incentive to reduce their emissions and ensure greater transparency for consumers. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) produced a detailed cost-benefit analysis on the potential impact of this regulation, which was subsequently reviewed by adelphi.

This resulted in the alternative cost-benefit analysis on the mandatory reporting scheme "The costs and benefits of mandatory greenhouse gas reporting", which revealed that Defra's analysis had overestimated the costs by up to 4,600 million pounds and underestimated the benefits by up to 980 million pounds. On the one hand, this was due to the high anticipated costs of introducing the requirements in companies, among other factors. On the other, Defra's calculation overlooked the benefits that would result from a cutback in freight transport emissions and the reduced risk to health from exhaust fumes.