From the start of next year the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will require large emitters of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to start collecting emissions data for a new reporting system. The program will cover around 10,000 facilities and account for approximately 85% of US emissions.
EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said “The American public, and industry itself, will finally gain critically important knowledge and with this information we can determine how best to reduce those emissions.” The data will allow businesses to track their own emissions, benchmark them with others and identify the best ways to reduce them.
The first annual reports for 2010 will need to be submitted to the EPA in 2011. Vehicle and engine manufacturers outside of the light-duty sector will begin phasing in GHG reporting with model year 2011.
One of the most fundamental aspects of bringing emissions under control is to first make an accurate count of what those emissions are. Corporations are often accused of setting targets with no accurate means of measuring progress. So it is quite odd that at a national level legislation is implemented without knowing the details of the problem (85% of the problem in this case). The US is by no means alone in this (did anyone count first?), but you can’t help wondering whether the climate legislation, currently making a snail’s-pace progress through Congress, would have been more efficiently expedited if the details of the problem were known. But then time is of the essence.
It’s boom time for the suppliers of Carbon Emissions Management Software (CEMS) though.