Carbon Accounting by Public and Private Financial Institutions: Can We Be Sure Climate Finance Is Leading to Emissions Reductions?
To further and fully understand how to plan for the decarbonization of mining value chains, we need better data on carbon and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, neither consumers, corporates, or financial institutions know the embodied emissions in the products they produce or sell. While methods like life-cycle analysis and environmental product declarations exist, none use a verifiable, comparable, or widely adopted emissions reporting framework capable of sending supply chain signals.
To truly reform material supply chains, new solutions for markets, capital, and policy are required. COMET (the Coalition on Materials Emissions Transparency) – an alliance launched at Davos in January 2020 by CCSI, RockyMountain Institute, MIT’s Sustainable Supply Chains initiative, and the Colorado School of Mines – is creating a harmonized GHG calculation framework applicable to all mineral and industrial supply chains. To learn more about COMET, read:
- The three two-pagers on how COMET is working with financiers, producers, and buyers to create a harmonized GHG calculation framework.
- The blog How Much CO2 is Embedded in a Product? Toward an Emissions Calculation Framework for the Minerals Industry.
- The two-page policy brief The COMET Framework: Greenhouse Gas Data Transparency to Enable the Success of EU Climate Policy.
- The report, Comparison Between the IPCC Reporting Framework and Country Practice. This study examines national GHG inventories prepared by Australia, China, Germany, Japan, and the United States, and highlights how the inventories of different countries – though following the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories – reflect different choices of GHG accounting methodologies and approaches, emission factors, and categories and gases reported. These choices, allowed under the IPCC Guidelines, result in significant differences in reported GHG emissions, reinforcing the case for adopting a harmonized GHG accounting framework.
- The report Carbon Accounting by Public and Private Financial Institutions: Can We Be Sure Climate Finance Is Leading to Emissions Reductions? As reporting GHG emissions becomes mandatory in the financial sector, the methods by which emissions are calculated will grow in importance for their impact on the resulting metric. Progress is underway in both the public and private financial sectors to embed emissions accounting standards, but there is still a long way to go to make them universal and harmonized. This report addresses key developments that both multilateral development banks (MDBs) – major actors in public climate finance – and private financial institutions have made toward adopting and harmonizing methodologies for calculating financed emissions.
In June 2021, the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN Climate Change) partnered with COMET to support the development of a harmonized GHG accounting framework.
Environmental Law | International Law | Law | Oil, Gas, and Mineral Law | Securities Law | Transnational Law
Martin D. Brauch & Emily Spittle,
Carbon Accounting by Public and Private Financial Institutions: Can We Be Sure Climate Finance Is Leading to Emissions Reductions?,
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/sustainable_investment_staffpubs/201
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