Sunday, 10 July 2011

Government results are in... but what next?

Last May, inspired by 10:10, David Cameron and Chris Huhne pledged to cut central government carbon emissions by 10% in twelve months. The results were announced today: a 100,000 tonne decrease in government CO2emissions or, put another way, a 13.8% reduction. Big numbers.

The government has a long way to go before they can claim to be “the greenest government ever”, but today’s announcement is genuinely impressive. Many said it was impossible for big organisations to cut emissions fast – this proves that it’s possible.

If it took Cameron to stand on a stage last year and announce the government’s 10% pledge, what would it take to get the UK’s biggest businesses to take carbon cutting seriously? A good start would be requiring all those businesses to measure and report their emissions – which is what we’ve been calling for, along with WWF, the Co-op, the Aldersgate Group and 10:10 businesses.

At the moment in the UK, companies aren’t required to report their emissions, so you can’t tell which companies are taking climate change seriously and which aren’t. Mandatory reporting – which is currently the subject of a government consultation – would require all large companies to publicly report their emissions every year, thus driving accountability and putting climate change at the heart of boardroom decisions. Common sense, huh?

According to our sources, the decision on mandatory carbon reporting is on a knife-edge. We can help tip the balance by emailing our MPs to explain why we back the move. Let’s use the example of government reporting its emissions (and achieving big results) to argue for all companies to do the same. You can use our simple MP lobbying tool to write to your MP, it takes less than five minutes to use and will guide you through the whole process. Get started now.

Today the government has shown that it can cut its own emissions four times faster than the target it has set for the rest of the country. In other words, it’s time to up the level of ambition – and making carbon reporting mandatory is a great start.


We can all give ourselves a pat on the back for inspiring government to cut their carbon and we look forward to what we can achieve together in future.

Angela Bryant
10:10 executive director