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This month, the European Parliament (EP) is expected to vote on a legislative proposal that, if passed into law, will make environmental and social reporting mandatory for many large companies on the continent. The terms of the proposal were agreed upon in the EP and European Council in late February making it almost certain to be successfully enshrined in European law sometime in the coming weeks.
The new law will affect approximately 6,000 large companies (large defined as a company with over 500 employees). Most of those subject to the new legislation will be publicly held companies, however, a number of banks and insurance companies will also be covered.
Last Friday, the White House issued a press release announcing a new strategy to cut U.S. methane emissions.
Methane accounts for only 9% of the U.S.’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, the compound is over 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, making it a powerful contributor to climate change. It has a number of high-profile sources, including landfills, livestock, and oil and natural gas production.
The new strategy is the latest in a series of actions taken by the administration to lower the country’s GHG emissions while bypassing the politically congested Congress. It fits in with Obama’s long-term goal to lower U.S. GHG emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. This is the objective that Obama pledged to reach in a United Nations Climate Change accord in 2009.
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