He hints at an issue that is, I think, real. Governments are relying on market pressure to bring quoted companies to account for their carbon reduction programmes. But if private equity, in particular, sees an opportunity in this to buy dirty assets and exploit them by not seeking mitigation at all whilst hiding the fact because they are private companies the whole process of transitioning to a net-zero carbon society could be undermined.
There is already some evidence of what might be called ‘carbon hiding’ in some energy-based activities. I think that this could get much worse if there is a short term profit to be made by abusing rules and regulators do not anticipate this.
There is, of course, a way around this problem. It is to require that all large companies – whoever they are owned by – report their carbon plans whether they are quoted or not.
Even within his own terms of reference that’s not the way to do it. Have a carbon tax so that emissions are in all prices. Then no one can not report them, can they?