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The University of Southampton
Centre for Research in Accounting, Accountability and Governance

Current public engagement activities

Exporting the DEFRA environmental reporting guidance to Africa to save our planet

Scientific evidence suggesting that the threats to human life, such as flooding and drought, are caused by global warming as a result of accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is mounting. At the Conference of the Parties (COP, 21) meeting held in France in 2016, many countries agreed to binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  The UK was the first country in the world to set a legally binding target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% from the 1990 levels by 2050 when it passed the 2009 Climate Change Act.  To achieve this ambitious target, the Act committed the UK government to publishing guidance on how companies should measure and report their greenhouse gas emissions. The guidance was published by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in 2009 and revised in 2013.

Prof Ven Tauringana
Prof Ven Tauringana

Inspired by the DEFRA 2009 guidance, Professor Ven Tauringana investigated the impact of the guidance on the reporting of environmental information by UK FTSE 350 companies. The findings, published in the British Accounting Review in 2015, indicated that the DEFRA 2009 guidance increased the reporting of environmental information. Ven, a practitioner member of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment, being keen to play a small part in saving our planet, was awarded a small research grant by Southampton Business School to help him with his mission to export the DEFRA guidance to Uganda. The funding allowed Ven to start working with Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) holding workshops on how to measure and report greenhouse gas emissions. The first workshop was held at UMA offices, Kampala, Uganda from 12 to 13th July 2016.

The expectation is that the participants at the workshop in 2016 will go and start to report their companies’ greenhouse emissions. At the conclusion of the workshop, it was also agreed that the participants will also file their companies’ greenhouse gas emissions reports with UMA, who will maintain a database. There will be a bi-annual follow ups by Ven of all the participants on the workshop to evaluate the difference the workshop made in terms of the reporting and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Efforts are now underway to apply for funding to hold similar workshops in other parts of the country.

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