So the question is what is the problem with making progress on this?
The thing, today, that is barking is that carbon accounting idea:
Last, changing the metric is the answer. And the relevant metric is financial viability. We have to show now which companies can make it through to be carbon net zero and which cannot. It is as simple as that. Only with data on that can rational decisions on the allocation of capital within financial markets take place. Mark Carney’s TCFD disclosure plan does not meet this criteria because it does not put the costs of climate change on a balance sheet upfront, but instead allows those costs to be delayed for as long as possible, off the balance sheet. That is the exact opposite of what is required.
My sustainable cost accounting does put that cost on the balance sheet upfront. Of course it will be an estimate, and of course it will require revision over time. But it requires a company to say how it will be net carbon neutral without permitting unsupported assumptions on offset or unproven technology, and it requires that the full provision for eliminating the cost of carbon be accounted for upfront. That way the information that a market requires to appraise future risk would be available now. And that is what markets need.
What would be the effect upon the balance sheet of Tax Research LLP of insisting it become carbon neutral over Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions? That Scope 3 would, for example, have to include the energy used – from whatever generation mix, on whatever form of machine – to download pages from the Tax Research website.
How could that even be calculated?