In the most simple terms – The policy challenge is … So far we’ve achieved … But – we have to reach ever higher hanging fruit To understand what we’re doing we need carbon accounting.
Every sector has different objectives and different accounting requirements Defra - The contribution that reporting of greenhouse gas emissions makes to the UK meeting its climate change objectives - A review of the current evidence, November 2010, p.41 Defra view - is this what happens?
For each of the positive drivers to promote corporate GHG accounting there’s a negative one as well. GHG management is NOT the primary objective – it’s better to split this into two separate objectives. The business of sustainability: McKinsey Global Survey results the share of respondents saying their companies’ top reasons for addressing sustainability include improving operational efficiency and lowering costs (33 percent). corporate reputation as the most frequently chosen reason (32 percent), reputation is the second most cited reason, alignment with the company’s business goals, mission, or values (31 percent) and new growth opportunities (27 percent) 53 percent of respondents saying company performance on sustainability is at least somewhat important to attracting and retaining employees, companies that take action are more likely to gain an advantage in employee retention. https://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Energy_Resources_Materials/Environment/The_business_of_sustainability_McKinsey_Global_Survey_results_2867?pagenum=2 Corporate GHG emissions are a good summary statistic of corporate sustainability performance - What boundaries? What emission scopes?
For Government, the key objective for households is to lower the emission impact of household consumption decisions. We’ve got ‘hard’ drivers like costs and building and retro-fitting regulations but key ‘soft’ drivers are determining behaviours on a cognitive level. What’s the role of accounting here?
Government drivers are very different from what’s happening in the private sector. Government has two, related objectives. Ultimately, it wants to achieve its emission reduction targets. On an operational level, therefore, it needs to manage GHG emissions – the associated accounting task is to assess the impact and cost effectiveness of various policy measures. The overarching objective of reaching the target is determined by the effectiveness of Government policy and assessed against the Net emissions account derived from the GHG inventory.
Accounting for a Purpose – accounting focussed to meet objective. Common purposes across all objectives Common challenges to meet these aims Self deception Greek entry into Euro (political priority vs. economic reality) Creative Accounting James Bodurtha, Jr., argues that from 1997 until its demise, &quot;the primary motivations for Enron's accounting and financial transactions seem to have been to keep reported income and reported cash flow up, asset values inflated, and liabilities off the books .“ Bodurtha, James N., Jr. (Spring 2003) (PDF). &quot;Unfair Values&quot; – Enron's Shell Game . Washington, D.C.: McDonough School of Business . p. 2. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.126.7560&rep=rep1&type=pdf UK public sector: PFI to keep liability ‘off the books’ special purpose vehicles to hold banks’ risky assets
Legally binding targets 42% by 2020, 80% by 2050, annual targets set in five-yearly intervals Scottish Government targets 100% of Scottish electricity consumption generated by renewables by 2020 30% of Scottish energy consumption satisfied by renewables by 2020 12% energy demand reduction by 2020 Public Bodies Duties Bodies must contribute to delivering carbon emissions targets (in a way it considers most suitable) Part 4, section 44, paragraph 1 A PUBLIC BODY MUST, IN EXERCISING ITS FUNCTIONS, ACT— (A)IN THE WAY BEST CALCULATED TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE DELIVERY OF THE TARGETS SET IN OR UNDER PART 1 OF THIS ACT; (B)IN THE WAY BEST CALCULATED TO HELP DELIVER ANY PROGRAMME LAID BEFORE THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT UNDER SECTION 53; (C)IN A WAY THAT IT CONSIDERS IS MOST SUSTAINABLE
Committee on Climate Change Recommendations for setting annual targets Review of policy pace for achieving targets Scottish Parliament & UK environmental audit committee Scrutiny of target proposals and vote Scrutiny of Report on Proposals and Policies (RPP I & II) Budget scrutiny and vote NGOs Scrutiny of Government proposals and actions
IPCC regulations for GHG inventory International accounting standard for the Kyoto gases Net emissions account adjusts for EU-ETS Margin of error: Policy appraisal Green book appraisal guidance for cost-benefit analysis DECC guidance on carbon factors and values Limited to energy & transport Organisational accounting GHG Protocol ISO 14067 PAS 2050
RPP=report on proposals and policies Section 85 of the Climate Change Act requires the UK Government to decide whether to make corporate green house gas reporting mandatory by April 2012 Research found that external reporting of GHG emissions does not in itself drive companies to reduce their GHG emissions as this is influenced by many factors including senior management commitment, targets, efficiency savings, a belief that it is an ethical imperative and brand building. The act of reporting in isolation does not reduce emissions. It needs to be followed by behavioural and operational changes within the business. (http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2011/05/11/businesses-consulted-over-most-effective-way-of-ghg-reporting/) Significant progress in PCF methodology has been made in the last two years, and of the existing methods, the UK's PAS 2050 appears to perform the best in terms of achieving the different policy objectives.
Making Carbon Count in Scotland: the Challenge, the Traction and the Plan | Dr Daniel Hinze, Senior Economist, Scottish Government
Making Carbon Count in Scotland the Challenge, the Traction and the Plan Dr Daniel Hinze Environmental Analysis Unit Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services
to achieve the remaining 14.4% requires all sectors to dig deep The Plan 27.6% achieved by 2009 The Traction 42% by 2020 80% by 2050 The Policy Challenge
to embed carbon in everyday decision making The Plan varies by sector, company & individual The Traction to provide decision-relevant information The Accounting Challenge
Household Objective Cost (Energy and household goods) Drivers - Household Regulation & Subsidies Household Budget “Cycle” Energy efficiency/ GHG impact information Budget planning Low-carbon consumption decision Concern Habit Awareness
Government Objective ‘Resource cost resilience’ Drivers – Public sector Climate Change targets NGO pressure Moral obligation SG - GHG Management Cycles GHG Assessment (RPP & other) GHG Reporting (Net Emissions Account) GHG Management/ Delivery Plans International context Business pressure Target Achievement Cost effectiveness
Accounting for a Purpose <ul><li>Purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Better understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Assigning responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>Better decision making </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of interest </li></ul><ul><li>Self deception (conflicting priorities) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Creative’ accounting </li></ul>
Accounting for a Purpose <ul><li>Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of interest </li></ul><ul><li>Self deception </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Creative’ accounting </li></ul><ul><li>Solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Targets (& benchmarking) </li></ul><ul><li>Independent scrutiny </li></ul><ul><li>Clear rules </li></ul>
Targets Contribute to delivering carbon emissions targets in a “suitable” way Public Bodies Duties Renewables (electricity & energy) Energy Demand Other SG targets 42% by 2020 80% by 2050 Legally binding targets
Scrutiny Scrutiny of Government proposals and actions NGOs Scrutiny of target proposals, Report on Proposals and Policies (RPP I & II) & budget Scottish Parliament Review of annual targets & policy pace for achieving targets Committee on Climate Change
Rules Organisational accounting Product carbon footprint GHG Protocol - ISO - PAS Carbon valuation Carbon factors + rebound (limited to energy & transport) ‘ Green Book’ policy appraisal DECC and other assessment guidance International accounting standard for the Kyoto gases & national GHG inventories IPCC regulations
Traction & Plan <ul><li>Clear plan (RPP) in Scottish Government </li></ul><ul><li>What more is needed? </li></ul><ul><li>Accounting applications that are fit for purpose – public and private sectors </li></ul><ul><li>Verification of carbon accounts </li></ul><ul><li>Targets & benchmarking of performance </li></ul><ul><li>What else do we need to consider? </li></ul><ul><li>Role of consumption-based reporting </li></ul><ul><li>Mandatory corporate GHG reporting under UK CC Act </li></ul>
Success or Failure? <ul><li>Fair trade labels – success of company accountability or failure of policy? </li></ul><ul><li>Carbon accounting – necessary now but have we failed if we still rely on it in 20 years? </li></ul>