2023-2024 Regular Sessions

                    IN SENATE

                                    October 16, 2023

        Introduced  by  Sen. SANDERS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules

        AN ACT to amend the  environmental  conservation  law,  in  relation  to
          requiring  reporting  and  verification of greenhouse gas emissions by
          certain entities

          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section  1.  The environmental conservation law is amended by adding a
     2  new section 75-0121 to read as follows:
     3  § 75-0121. Climate corporate data accountability.
     4    1. For purposes of this section, the following terms have the  follow-
     5  ing definitions:
     6    a.  "Emissions  reporting  organization"  means  a nonprofit emissions
     7  reporting organization  contracted  by  the  council  pursuant  to  this
     8  section that both:
     9    (i)  currently  operates a greenhouse gas emission reporting organiza-
    10  tion for organizations operating in the United States; and
    11    (ii) has experience with greenhouse gas emissions disclosure by  enti-
    12  ties operating in New York.
    13    b.  "Reporting  entity"  means  a  partnership,  corporation,  limited
    14  liability company, or other business entity formed  under  the  laws  of
    15  this  state,  the  laws  of  any other state of the United States or the
    16  District of Columbia, or under an act of  the  Congress  of  the  United
    17  States  with  total  annual  revenues  in  excess of one billion dollars
    18  ($1,000,000,000) and that does business in New York. Applicability shall
    19  be determined based on the reporting  entity's  revenue  for  the  prior
    20  fiscal year.
    21    c.  "Scope 1 emissions" means all direct greenhouse gas emissions that
    22  stem from sources that a reporting entity  owns  or  directly  controls,
    23  regardless  of  location, including, but not limited to, fuel combustion
    24  activities.

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        S. 7705                             2

     1    d. "Scope 2 emissions" means indirect greenhouse  gas  emissions  from
     2  consumed  electricity,  steam, heating, or cooling purchased or acquired
     3  by a reporting entity, regardless of location.
     4    e.  "Scope  3 emissions" means indirect upstream and downstream green-
     5  house gas emissions, other than scope 2 emissions, from sources that the
     6  reporting entity does not own or directly control and may  include,  but
     7  are  not  limited  to,  purchased  goods  and services, business travel,
     8  employee commutes, and processing and use of sold products.
     9    2. a. On or  before  January  first,  two  thousand  twenty-five,  the
    10  department, in consultation with the New York state climate action coun-
    11  cil,  shall  develop and adopt regulations to require a reporting entity
    12  to annually disclose to the emissions reporting organization, and obtain
    13  an assurance engagement performed by an independent  third-party  assur-
    14  ance  provider on all of the reporting entity's scope 1 emissions, scope
    15  2 emissions, and scope 3 emissions. The council shall  ensure  that  the
    16  regulations  adopted  pursuant  to  this  subdivision require all of the
    17  following:
    18    (i) (A) (I) That a reporting entity, starting in two thousand  twenty-
    19  six  on  or  by  a date to be determined by the department, and annually
    20  thereafter on or by  that  date,  publicly  disclose  to  the  emissions
    21  reporting  organization  all of the reporting entity's scope 1 emissions
    22  and scope 2 emissions for the reporting entity's prior fiscal year.
    23    (II) That a reporting entity, starting in  two  thousand  twenty-seven
    24  and  annually  thereafter,  publicly  disclose  its scope 3 emissions no
    25  later than one hundred eighty days after its scope 1 emissions and scope
    26  2 emissions are publicly disclosed to the emissions reporting  organiza-
    27  tion for the prior fiscal year.
    28    (B)  A  reporting  entity shall, beginning in two thousand twenty-six,
    29  measure and report its emissions of greenhouse gases in conformance with
    30  the Greenhouse Gas Protocol standards and guidance, including the Green-
    31  house Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard  and  the
    32  Greenhouse  Gas  Protocol Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and
    33  Reporting Standard developed by the World Resources  Institute  and  the
    34  World  Business  Council for Sustainable Development, including guidance
    35  for scope 3 emissions calculations that detail acceptable  use  of  both
    36  primary  and secondary data sources, including the use of industry aver-
    37  age data, proxy data, and other generic data in its  scope  3  emissions
    38  calculations.
    39    (C)  (I)  Starting  in  two thousand thirty-three and every five years
    40  thereafter, the department may survey  and  assess  currently  available
    41  greenhouse  gas accounting and reporting standards. At the conclusion of
    42  this assessment the department may adopt a globally recognized  alterna-
    43  tive  accounting  and  reporting standard if it determines its use would
    44  more effectively further the goals of this section. This review  process
    45  shall include consultation with the stakeholders identified in paragraph
    46  d of this subdivision.
    47    (II)  If the department adopts an alternative accounting and reporting
    48  standard, the department shall develop and adopt new regulations, pursu-
    49  ant to this paragraph, to ensure full conformance with the new  standard
    50  and  reporting of scopes 1, 2, and 3 emissions and other requirements of
    51  this section.
    52    (D) During two thousand twenty-nine the department shall  review,  and
    53  on  or  before  January first, two thousand thirty, the department shall
    54  update as necessary, the public disclosure deadlines established  pursu-
    55  ant to item (I) of clause (A) of this subparagraph to evaluate trends in
    56  scope 3 emissions reporting and consider changes to the disclosure dead-

        S. 7705                             3

     1  lines  to  ensure  that scope 3 emissions data is disclosed to the emis-
     2  sions reporting organization as close in  time  as  practicable  to  the
     3  deadline  for reporting entities to disclose scope 1 emissions and scope
     4  2 emissions data.
     5    (E)  The reporting timelines shall consider industry stakeholder input
     6  and shall take into account the timelines by  which  reporting  entities
     7  typically  receive scope 1, scope 2, and scope 3 emissions data, as well
     8  as the capacity for an independent assurance engagement to be  performed
     9  by a third-party assurance provider;
    10    (ii)  That a reporting entity's public disclosure maximizes access for
    11  consumers,  investors,  and  other  stakeholders  to  comprehensive  and
    12  detailed  greenhouse  gas emissions data across scopes 1, 2, and 3 emis-
    13  sions, as defined by this section, and is made in a manner that is easi-
    14  ly understandable and accessible;
    15    (iii) That a reporting entity's public disclosure includes the name of
    16  the reporting entity and any  fictitious  names,  trade  names,  assumed
    17  names, and logos used by the reporting entity;
    18    (iv)  (A)  That  the  emissions  reporting is structured in a way that
    19  minimizes duplication of effort and allows a reporting entity to  submit
    20  to  the  emissions reporting organization reports prepared to meet other
    21  national and international reporting requirements, including any reports
    22  required by the federal government, as long as those reports satisfy all
    23  of the requirements of this section.
    24    (B) Reporting entities that are required to  report  mandatory  indus-
    25  trial  emissions pursuant to regulations adopted by the commissioner may
    26  provide that data with the disclosure required pursuant to this section;
    27    (v) That a reporting entity's disclosure takes into  account  acquisi-
    28  tions,  divestments,  mergers,  and  other  structural  changes that can
    29  affect the greenhouse gas emissions reporting, and  is  disclosed  in  a
    30  manner  consistent  with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol standards and guid-
    31  ance or an alternative standard, if one is adopted  after  two  thousand
    32  thirty-three;
    33    (vi)  (A)  That  a  reporting  entity obtains an assurance engagement,
    34  performed by an independent third-party  assurance  provider,  of  their
    35  public  disclosure. The reporting entity shall ensure that a copy of the
    36  complete assurance provider's report on  the  greenhouse  gas  emissions
    37  inventory,  including the name of the third-party assurance provider, is
    38  provided to the emissions  reporting  organization  as  part  of  or  in
    39  connection with the reporting entity's public disclosure.
    40    (B)  The  assurance engagement for scope 1 emissions and scope 2 emis-
    41  sions shall be performed at a limited assurance level beginning  in  two
    42  thousand twenty-six and at a reasonable assurance level beginning in two
    43  thousand thirty.
    44    (C)  During  two  thousand twenty-six, the department shall review and
    45  evaluate trends in third-party assurance requirements for scope 3  emis-
    46  sions.  On  or  before  January  first,  two  thousand twenty-seven, the
    47  department may establish an assurance requirement for third-party assur-
    48  ance engagements of scope 3  emissions.  The  assurance  engagement  for
    49  scope 3 emissions shall be performed at a limited assurance level begin-
    50  ning in two thousand thirty.
    51    (D) A third-party assurance provider shall have significant experience
    52  in  measuring,  analyzing,  reporting,  or  attesting to the emission of
    53  greenhouse gasses and sufficient competence and  capabilities  necessary
    54  to  perform  engagements  in  accordance with professional standards and
    55  applicable legal and regulatory  requirements.  The  assurance  provider
    56  shall  be  able  to issue reports that are appropriate under the circum-

        S. 7705                             4

     1  stances and independent with respect to the reporting entity, and any of
     2  the reporting entity's affiliates for which it is providing  the  assur-
     3  ance report. During two thousand twenty-nine the department shall review
     4  and,  on  or  before January first, two thousand thirty, shall update as
     5  necessary, the qualifications for third-party assurance providers  based
     6  on  an  evaluation  of  trends  in education relating to the emission of
     7  greenhouse gases and the qualifications of third-party assurance provid-
     8  ers.
     9    (E) The department shall ensure that the assurance  process  minimizes
    10  the  need  for reporting entities to engage multiple assurance providers
    11  and ensures sufficient assurance provider capacity, as  well  as  timely
    12  reporting  implementation  as  required  under item (I) of clause (A) of
    13  subparagraph (i) of this paragraph;
    14    (vii) (A) That a reporting entity, upon filing its  disclosure,  shall
    15  pay an annual fee to the department for the administration and implemen-
    16  tation of this section.
    17    (B)  The  department  shall  set  the fee established pursuant to this
    18  subparagraph in an amount sufficient  to  cover  the  department's  full
    19  costs  of administrating and implementing this section. The total amount
    20  of fees collected shall not exceed the department's actual  and  reason-
    21  able costs to administer and implement this section.
    22    (C)  The  proceeds  of  the fees imposed pursuant to this subparagraph
    23  shall be deposited in a climate accountability and emissions  disclosure
    24  account  within  the  department.  The  moneys  in  the account shall be
    25  continuously appropriated to the department and shall be expended by the
    26  department for the department's activities pursuant to this section  and
    27  to reimburse any outstanding loans made from other funds used to finance
    28  the  initial  costs  of  the  department's  activities  pursuant to this
    29  section. Moneys in the account shall not be expended for any purpose not
    30  enumerated in this section.
    31    (D) The department may adjust the fee in any year to  reflect  changes
    32  in the consumer price index during the prior year.
    33    b. The department shall contract with an emissions reporting organiza-
    34  tion  to develop a reporting program to receive and make publicly avail-
    35  able disclosures required pursuant to paragraph a of this subdivision.
    36    c. The department may adopt or update any other  regulations  that  it
    37  deems necessary and appropriate to implement this section.
    38    d.  In  developing  the regulations required pursuant to this section,
    39  the department shall consult with all of the following:
    40    (i) the attorney general;
    41    (ii) other government stakeholders, including,  but  not  limited  to,
    42  experts in climate science and corporate carbon emissions accounting and
    43  reporting;
    44    (iii) investors;
    45    (iv)  stakeholders  representing  consumer  and  environmental justice
    46  interests; and
    47    (v) reporting entities that have demonstrated leadership in full-scope
    48  greenhouse gas emissions accounting and public disclosure and greenhouse
    49  gas emissions reductions.
    50    e. This section does not require additional reporting of emissions  of
    51  greenhouse  gases  beyond  the  reporting  of scope 1 emissions, scope 2
    52  emissions, and scope 3 emissions required pursuant to the Greenhouse Gas
    53  Protocol standards and guidance or an alternative standard,  if  one  is
    54  adopted after two thousand thirty-three.
    55    3.  a. On or before July first, two thousand twenty-seven, the depart-
    56  ment shall contract with the state university of New  York,  a  national

        S. 7705                             5

     1  laboratory,  or  another  equivalent  academic  institution to prepare a
     2  report on the public disclosures made by reporting entities to the emis-
     3  sions reporting organization pursuant to subdivision one of this section
     4  and  the regulations adopted by the department pursuant to that subdivi-
     5  sion. In preparing the report, consideration shall be  given  to,  at  a
     6  minimum, greenhouse gas emissions from reporting entities in the context
     7  of  state  greenhouse  gas  emissions reduction and climate goals.   The
     8  entity preparing the report shall  not  require  reporting  entities  to
     9  report any information beyond what is required pursuant to such subdivi-
    10  sion  one  or the regulations adopted by the department pursuant to that
    11  subdivision.
    12    b. The department shall submit the report required by this subdivision
    13  to the emissions reporting organization to be made publicly available on
    14  the digital platform required to be created by the  emissions  reporting
    15  organization pursuant to subdivision three of this section.
    16    4.  a. (i) The emissions reporting organization, on or before the date
    17  determined by the department pursuant to subparagraph (i) of paragraph a
    18  of subdivision two of this section, shall  create  a  digital  platform,
    19  which shall be accessible to the public, that will feature the emissions
    20  data  of  reporting entities in conformance with the regulations adopted
    21  by the department pursuant to subdivision two of this  section  and  the
    22  report  prepared  for  the  department pursuant to such subdivision. The
    23  emissions reporting organization  shall  make  the  reporting  entities'
    24  disclosures  and  the department's report available on the digital plat-
    25  form within thirty days of receipt.
    26    (ii) The digital platform shall be  capable  of  featuring  individual
    27  reporting  entity disclosures, and shall allow consumers, investors, and
    28  other stakeholders to view reported data elements aggregated in a varie-
    29  ty of ways, including multiyear data, in a manner that is easily  under-
    30  standable  and  accessible  to residents of the state. All data sets and
    31  customized views shall be available in electronic format for access  and
    32  use by the public.
    33    b.  The  emissions  reporting organization shall submit, within thirty
    34  days of receipt, the report prepared  for  the  department  pursuant  to
    35  subdivision  four  of  this section to the relevant policy committees of
    36  the legislature.
    37    5. a. The department shall adopt regulations that authorize it to seek
    38  administrative penalties for non-filing, late filing, or  other  failure
    39  to  meet  the requirements of this section. The administrative penalties
    40  authorized by this section shall be imposed and recovered by the depart-
    41  ment in administrative proceedings. The administrative penalties imposed
    42  on a reporting entity shall not exceed  five  hundred  thousand  dollars
    43  ($500,000) in a reporting year. In imposing penalties for a violation of
    44  this  section, the department shall consider all relevant circumstances,
    45  including both of the following:
    46    (i) the violator's past and present compliance with this section; and
    47    (ii) whether the violator took good faith measures to comply with this
    48  section and when those measures were taken.
    49    b. A reporting entity shall not be subject to an administrative penal-
    50  ty under this section for any misstatements with regard to scope 3 emis-
    51  sions disclosures made with a reasonable basis  and  disclosed  in  good
    52  faith.
    53    c. Penalties assessed on scope 3 reporting, between two thousand twen-
    54  ty-seven and two thousand thirty, shall only occur for non-filing.

        S. 7705                             6

     1    6.  This  section  applies  to  the university of New York only to the
     2  extent that the regents of the university of New  York,  by  resolution,
     3  make any of these provisions applicable to the university.
     4    §  2. Severability.   If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision,
     5  section or part of this act shall be adjudged by any court of  competent
     6  jurisdiction  to  be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair, or
     7  invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation
     8  to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section or part thereof
     9  directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment  shall  have
    10  been rendered. It is hereby declared to be the intent of the legislature
    11  that  this  act  would have been enacted even if such invalid provisions
    12  had not been included herein.
    13    § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.