California Passes Landmark Law Requiring Public Disclosure of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

California has passed a groundbreaking law, SB 253, requiring large companies doing business in the state to publicly disclose their annual greenhouse gas emissions. The legislation, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on October 7, mandates that the California Air Resources Board establish transparency rules for companies with annual revenues exceeding $1 billion by 2025.

Over 5,000 corporations, both public and private, will be impacted, including Amazon, Apple, Chevron, and Walmart.

By 2026, these corporations will also have to report the carbon emissions from their operations and electricity production. By 2027, they will be required to disclose emissions from their supply chains and customers, known as “scope 3” emissions. Companies with annual revenues exceeding $500 million may face yearly penalties if they fail to disclose their climate-related risks early in 2026, as part of a companion bill.

Sen. Scott Wiener, the author of the bill, called the disclosures a simple yet powerful method to drive decarbonization. The law is aimed at providing transparency and accountability to encourage large corporations to take action on the climate crisis.

The measure in California is similar to the federal mandate proposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which was finalized last month. It requires publicly traded companies to disclose their emissions and climate-related risks to investors.

The move aligns with California’s continued efforts to combat climate change and support sustainable practices in the state.

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