California’s Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom, made public over the weekend his plan to sign historic legislation requiring significant firms operating in California to publish their direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions.
Senate Bill 253 would mandate emissions disclosure regulations for California-based businesses with yearly revenues of over $1 billion from the state’s Air Resources Board.
Newsom said that would be over 5,300 enterprises.
San Francisco Democrat and bill sponsor Scott Wiener said in a statement that “the globe needs more climate advocates like Gavin Newsom” after Newsom said he would sign the bill.
When accelerating the transition from fossil fuels, “these carbon disclosures are a basic but tremendously potent engine,” as Wiener put it.
Weiner said there would be tools and incentives to turbocharge their decarbonization efforts if investors and consumers had “full insight” into company carbon emissions.
The senator argued that the bill would establish accountability for those firms who aren’t doing their share to combat the climate catastrophe.
The day before he announced his intention to sign SB 253, Newsom and California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) announced the state’s lawsuit against five major oil companies, accusing them of “lying about climate change,”
According to the complaint filed on Friday, oil and gas corporations have known for decades that reliance on fossil fuels can lead to catastrophic weather occurrences, but “they withheld that information from the public.”
The language of SB 253 states that, starting in 2026, businesses would be required to report specific information regarding their greenhouse gas emissions.
All emissions from sources the corporation “owns or directly controls,” such as fuel burning, are considered Scope 1 emissions under the new law.
Emissions from purchased items, business trips, employee commutes, and sold product usage go under Scope 3, while indirect emissions from used electricity, heating, or cooling fall under Scope 2.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed rules mandating publicly traded corporations’ disclosure of direct and indirect emissions.
The California law, however, would go further than existing mandates by applying the same standards to for-profit businesses.