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California Legislature Passes Bill Requiring Firms to Report Carbon Emissions

The California state legislature passed a bill Tuesday that would require large companies to disclose their estimated carbon emissions. It is the first bill of its kind, and could lead to similar legislation being passed in other states.

The San Francisco Chronicle noted that 5,000 companies would be affected. It reported:

The bill, SB253 by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, would make California the first state to require such disclosures from companies that operate in the state if their annual revenue exceeds $1 billion. It divided the business community, with some major corporations including Apple, Google and Levi’s supporting it while the California Chamber of Commerce and other business groups opposed.

Lawmakers who support it argued the measure will provide consumers and investors with uniform information about companies’ carbon emissions so they can evaluate and compare their claims of environmental stewardship. It would take effect Jan. 1, 2025.

A previous version of the bill died last year.

The California State Senate passed the final version of the bill on Tuesday, sending it to Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) for signature or veto.

The “Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act” states, in part: “Californians are already facing devastating wildfires, sea level rise, drought, and other impacts associated with climate change that threaten the health and safety of Californians.”

Scientists are uncertain whether many of these phenomena, especially wildfires and drought, are “associated with climate change,” though theoretically they could become worse in a warmer, drier climate.


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