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Measuring and reporting public sector greenhouse gas emissions

In June 2019, the government committed in law to achieving ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The overall responsibility for achieving net zero has been assigned to the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (the Department). The Department published their Net Zero Strategy in October 2021, committing government and wider public sector to lead the transition to net zero by example. The three areas the Department has chosen to focus on are investment in reducing direct emissions, transparency in reporting, and cross-government capacity and capability to deliver net zero.

This study will build upon the NAO’s Achieving Net Zero report by taking a closer look at how the public sector measures and reports on carbon emissions.

It will examine:

  • Government’s framework for measuring public sector emissions; and
  • Public sector carbon emission reporting and the extent to which this is in line with recommended government practice and practice across the wider economy.