Over the weekend, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced his plans to sign a new law focused on climate transparency for big businesses and corporations.
The law would force major companies to disclose information about their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the financial risks brought about by climate change.
The announcement was made during Newsom’s out-of-state trip to New York’s Climate Week, where politicians, business leaders and creatives met to seek solutions for the climate crisis.
And last week, lawmakers in the Golden State passed a bill that will have large companies across all sectors report on both their direct GHG emissions, as well those generated indirectly, such as by employee business travel.
The legislation is authored by state Sen. Scott Wiener, who described such disclosures as an ‘intensely powerful driver of decarbonization’.
Wiener welcomed Gov. Newsom’s decision to support the new bill and sign it into law, and said in a statement on Sunday: “This legislation will support those companies doing their part to tackle the climate crisis and create accountability for those that aren’t.”
Once the law is passed, public and private enterprises making over $1 billion per year will be mandated to disclose their emissions and boost transparency, which will help them assess their efforts to reduce those emissions.
A second bill that was also approved last week by the state Assembly will see businesses generating over $500 million per year report on the financial risks for their operations stemming directly from climate change and what they can do to mitigate those risks.
In addition to demanding more transparency from major corporations in California, Newsom’s office is also looking to hold big oil accountable for false claims about the impact of its operations on climate.
Namely, a civil lawsuit was filed in state Superior Court in San Francisco against some of the largest fossil fuel companies, which also seeks to create a fund that would pay for the recovery efforts following climate change-related natural disasters.