World Economic Forum creates Global Greenhouse Gas Register

World Economic Forum creates Global Greenhouse Gas Register
Published: 09 December 2003

At the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Milan, Italy, the World Economic Forum announced it is creating a Global Greenhouse Gas Register to facilitate the disclosure and management by companies of their worldwide climate emissions. The new register will be developed in partnership with leading business and environmental organisations and is hoped to motivate voluntary corporate climate action.

Companies participating in the Global GHG Register are asked to prepare a corporate-wide inventory of GHG emissions for the six major GHGs, in accordance with the GHG Protocol Initiative Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard developed by a multi-stakeholder collaboration led by the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Unit- or region-specific inventories are permitted provided there is a commitment to develop a corporate-wide inventory by a certain date.

In addition, they are expected to have their inventories of GHG emissions independently verified. If an inventory is not independently verified at the time of registration, the company commits to having processes in place to ensure that the information provided is verifiable. In such situations, the company is prepared to allow for the possibility of a random third-party spot check organised by the Register.

As part of their inventories, companies may report offsets and GHG mitigation projects that could be of interest to potential investors, creating an added incentive for developing country firms to participate.

Janet Ranganathan, director of the GHG Protocol Initiative, a project of the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development commented : “We welcome the new Global GHG Register since it will make corporate accountability for emissions more transparent. While companies will use the GHG Protocol as the standard to account for their emissions, the Global GHG Registry will provide a central platform where these individual reports can be publicly accessed."

Eight firms, representing nearly five percent of global GHG emissions, have already signed up to the register. Cemex, Lafarge, RAO Unified UESR, RWE, ScottishPower, Anglo-American, Hewlett-Packard and Vattenfall have committed to registering their worldwide emissions inventories, an estimated 800Mta of carbon dioxide.

“For good business reasons, Lafarge has committed itself to reducing its CO2 emissions well beyond business as usual. By including our commitment in the World Economic Forum's Register, we want to show that business is taking real action to cut CO2 emissions at a global level. We hope that more businesses will also join us on the Forum's Register to illustrate the enormous contribution that business as a whole is making," said Chris Boyd, CEO of Lafarge Italy.

Company data registration will begin on the Register’s website in early 2004, following the Register’s announcement and operational launch at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland in January 2004. An additional 12 major companies are currently in discussions to take part in the initiative.