Newsom Signs Law Requiring Big Businesses to Disclose Emissions

( – California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a law requiring big companies to disclose the carbon emissions they generate. The rule will apply to all companies operating in California with annual revenue above $1 billion. Leaders of the firms will need to account for both “direct” and “indirect” emissions, meaning that all activity, from manufacturing to workforce travel, is covered.

Proponents say SB 253 will make business in the Golden State more transparent and allow consumers to make informed choices, but the California Chamber of Commerce, which represents the interests of businesspeople in the state, says companies can’t necessarily keep a minute record of all emissions. The organization also urged Californians to wait because the federal government is working on introducing similar requirements nationwide, and Californians could therefore be burdened with complying with the two sets of comparable regulations.

Chamber of Commerce president Jennifer Barrera said she will sit down with Governor Newsom to discuss the realities of the legislation and how it will impact small businesses in particular.

The move is the latest in a long line of legislative shifts Newsom has introduced to pull businesses toward climate change initiatives with first-in-the-nation policies. Last August, California’s government said all new cars would be electric or hydrogen-powered by 2035. This will mean the number of charging stations will need to be multiplied by 15, and the power grid will need reinforcement in a state that has already struggled with outages.

California likewise leads the charge against railroads and wants all locomotive engines over 23 years old to be put out of use by 2030. Any active locomotives will be barred from sitting idle for more than 30 minutes, and the use of “zero-emissions technology” will be increased to handle freight movement. The California Air Resources Board said it was time to “kickstart the next step of transformation with trains.”

Golden State officials say they aim to lead the world in combating climate change.

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