The world is in the throes of an unprecedented climate crisis, and while individual actions matter, the lion’s share of responsibility rests on the shoulders of big corporations. Recent legislation in California offers a glimpse of hope in this daunting scenario. Governor Gavin Newsom, taking a monumental step, has signed a bill that forces corporations to be transparent about their carbon emissions. But why is this important and how does it connect with corporate greed and negligence? Let’s delve deeper.
California’s bold move through the Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act demands that companies generating over $1 billion in annual revenue disclose not only their direct carbon emissions but also an estimate of emissions from their supply chain, starting from 2026. The intention is clear: to cut through the smokescreen of corporate ‘green-washing’ and hold these conglomerates accountable for their climate commitments.
However, the journey to this landmark legislation hasn’t been smooth. Previous attempts met resistance, with major corporations arguing the challenges and costs tied to calculating supply chain emissions. The fact that some of the world’s most significant corporations are responsible for over 70% of greenhouse gas emissions since 1988, as highlighted in the 2017 Carbon Majors Report, only underscores the urgency of this legislation.
While the legislation is a massive step forward, Governor Newsom’s concerns about its implementation and potential financial impact on businesses cannot be ignored. It’s essential to strike a balance ensuring that businesses remain economically viable while being environmentally responsible. Yet, the primary question remains: Why were such regulations not already in place? The answer lies in the long-standing corporate ethos of profit over planet.
The People vs. Corporate America
Over the years, we at OnderLaw have witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of corporate negligence. Whether it’s a product liability case or an environmental hazard lawsuit, the underlying theme remains consistent: When left unchecked, some corporations prioritize profits over ethical responsibilities.
Governor Newsom’s legislation serves as a wake-up call, signaling a shift from the status quo. Companies must now operate within an ethical framework, considering not just profits but their impact on the planet and its inhabitants. It’s not merely about meeting legal requirements but reshaping the corporate mindset to value sustainability and accountability.
Major corporations have the resources and influence to make a meaningful difference in combating climate change. Their actions, or lack thereof, have ripple effects throughout society. By being transparent about their carbon footprints, they not only set the stage for sustainable operations but also influence their peers, stakeholders, and consumers.
To our clients, community, and those reading this: We urge you to remain informed and make choices that support a sustainable future. While corporations play a significant role, every individual, by supporting ethical businesses and practices, contributes to a broader change. At OnderLaw, we remain committed to holding negligent corporations accountable and advocating for a safer, greener future for all.