Calls for transparent information on the carbon footprint of a product, service, company or government are getting louder from consumers and investors, and will likely be soon codified in regulations like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed rule on climate risk reporting for publicly traded companies. But how do you actually account for all the emissions released in the production process or in a company activity? Is it even possible to accurately quantify?
Charles Cannon, a manager of RMI’s climate intelligence program, investigates ways to improve the quality of product level greenhouse gas information (like how much CO2 was released to manufacture your new refrigerator?). He sat down with Climate Now to explain the challenges involved in carbon accounting - the term for quantifying greenhouse gas emissions - and how those challenges might be addressed.