Regulating Greenhouse Gases by Mandatory Information Disclosure
46 Pages Posted: 3 Jul 2007
Date Written: July 1, 2007
Mandatory information disclosure has been heralded as a revolutionary and strikingly low-cost environmental policy tool. The author analyzes domestic and international disclosure policies, using the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) as the paradigm case study. The author proposes governments should expand their use of mandatory information disclosure from toxics to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. The Note analyzes various efforts to establish voluntary and mandatory greenhouse gas registries, along with the business risks and opportunities associated with such disclosure. The author proposes countries adopt a mandatory Greenhouse Gas Release Inventory (GGRI) as a first step to fight global climate change, and eventually to be integrated within a cap-and-trade system. The GGRI should eliminate asymmetric information among interested stakeholders, providing them with detailed information on industry leaders and laggards, thereby allowing assessments of companies overall risk exposure to inevitable global warming regulation. By harnessing the power of information to shame, reward, and enlighten, policymakers can empower investors, consumers, regulators, environmental groups, and even corporate management to influence corporate climate practices.
Keywords: mandatory information disclosure, global warming, global climate change, Toxics Release Inventory, TRI, greenhouse gas emissions, registry, inventory, information disclosure
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