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Today Senator Lynn Ruane introduced her Companies (Emission Reporting) Bill 2021 to the Seanad. The Bill requires companies of over 50 employees to annually report audited statements of greenhouse gases to the Minister for Enterprise is introduced in the same week that the Oireachtas Committee for Climate Change and the Environment heard that by 2030 data centres are set to account for 70% of Ireland’s electricity usage.


The bill is introduced in the spirit of ensuring that the burden of responding to climate change falls equitably and proportionally between those who make the greatest contribution, in keeping with the polluter-pays principle and to support climate justice and a just transition. The 2017 Carbon Majors report found that just 100 companies had been responsible for 71% of global emissions since 1988. Corporations make significant contributions to global carbon emissions and must be held to account for their environmental impacts.


It is clear that legislation requiring private companies operating in Ireland to make mandatory public disclosures on the greenhouse gas emissions arising from their activities in the State is a necessity. Senator Ruane’s bill is built on the principles of transparency and accountability. The bill is written on the premise that if companies are required to publish their emissions every year, public scrutiny, pressure and environmental considerations will cause them to adopt policies that will reduce their emissions.


Speaking in the chamber Senator Ruane said of the bill:

“Climate justice is not possible if State responses to climate change only focus on targeting individual consumption through carbon taxes, impacting on low income communities with low carbon footprint the most and without also tackling the big polluters on the other end of the scale, which create the most carbon emissions”

The bill can be read here.