After 4 years waiting, the big day has dawned and the Government has announced… nothing. It needs more time to consider whether to introduce mandatory carbon reporting (MCR) or not. What a let-down.
In making the “decision” they published a paper that set out all the work they have done since December 2009 to help inform a decision. But over nine months since the end of the public consultation they have not managed to come to a decision, or even release their impact assessment. They’ve even missed their own internal deadlines.
Here is my quick timeline for MCR:
4 years: Since this deadline was set in the Climate change Act 2008
3 years: WWF and the Co-operative have been campaigning together for it
15 months: A House of Commons Early Day Motion tabled in support of MCR. Now supported by 162 MPs
1 year: Over 160 organisations wrote an open letter to Caroline Spelman setting out their support for MCR
9 months: Since the close of the public consultation on it. 194 of the organisations responding to it supported MCR. That is 65% of organisations responding to the consultation
9 months: Since an independent impact assessment showing that the UK would be better off with MCR
6 months: Since the Environmental Audit Committee recommended the introduction of the legislation as soon as possible to help tackle climate change.
What I find most frustrating is that the UK is dragging its heels. There seems to be no sense of urgency about the need to address climate change. MCR may be adopted in the future, but with every day we fall further behind, and give excuses to those who aren’t acting responsibly.
Today the government didn’t need to spell out the details of how it would work, but simply say that they were planning to introduce it in the future. This delay in deciding does have a cost attached to it. It will cost the UK dearly since costs of inaction around climate change increase as the years click on…