Creative Accounting: Reporting of purchased (scope 2) emmissions

My paper in Energy Policy Journal is quite 
detailed but in simple terms it's about the way   companies can buy green energy certificates and 
claim that they use green renewable electricity   and in turn they can claim to be green and 
have low emissions but the reality is that the   electricity they're buying is the same 
electricity that's already in the grid and   buying green certificates doesn't do anything 
to increase the amount of green renewable   electricity, so it doesn't change anything. An important point that you very credibly raise is the claims made in corporate carbon 
disclosure, they are not credible. In your work you present very convincing arguments on this. I highly appreciate your work and I think it is also of high societal interest. Okay, well 
yeah thanks, thanks so much Jaap. Thank you Matthew So in short, our research shows that current carbon 
accounting methods don't do anything for the   environment although they allow companies to claim 
to be green. The research has had a significant impact on government, industry and academics 
and that has led to a number of other changes.

One of the great benefits of research 
like yours is the independent element to it where   industry can see a problem but needs someone to 
convince the government or someone to convince   the regulators that there is not only a 
problem but a solution which can be easily implemented. Companies buy green certificates in 
order to meet targets or to impress customers   and stakeholders. If customer aspect is quite key, 
people are much more aware of their impact on the environment and they only want to bank with banks 
that are sustainable and are pledging to in future   change their investment, so 
divest away from energy intensive investments. As a company who produces green 
electricity, we're keen to ensure that the green credentials of that electricity 
ends up in suitable companies hands.

I looked at data from around the world and 
pulled it together for the first time, and a synthesis of the data showed that this is a 
global issue. The main findings are that buying green energy certificates does not increase the 
amount of renewable generation, it undermines the credibility of greenhouse gas accounting, 
and it also misleads companies because they   believe that they're doing something positive 
for the environment and that's not the case.   In short, renewable certificates are not delivering 
what consumers think they're delivering and that's  not good practice. My paper was published in Energy 
Policy Journal and the subsequent debate has had a number of global and significant impacts. It's a big debate going on at the moment and I think Matthew's research has contributed quite a 
lot to it.

It's impacted my thinking and it's interesting to see that other banks have also 
taken on board the concept of additionality.   The international standard for corporate level 
greenhouse gas accounting, iso 14064 part one, has just been updated. The main impacts were: 
the research has been used in the revision of   an iso standard for company greenhouse 
gas accounting, it's been used by the UK government Department for Business Energy 
and Industrial Strategy, and it's also been   used by a large number of companies to inform 
their own thinking and practice on this issue.   The University has been very supportive through 
the whole process.

The university provided support   for the research itself and support for travel 
to international meetings, particularly the iso   international meetings, and also helped with things 
like developing a database of over 300 companies   who use green certificates in their greenhouse 
gas reporting. I think this project is a good example of the way the University of Edinburgh 
places a lot of emphasis on research and impact.   Your work is impactful on people like me, your work 
has sharpened my ideas. So the impact of Matthew's work, it does have quite pertinent impacts 
and influences across the nation and across  the world really. I think this is an important 
issue because it's essential that companies do genuinely reduce their greenhouse gas emissions 
and so this is a piece of research I'm very proud of..

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