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U.S., North America | Effective: 2026

California Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act (SB 253)

Signed into law in October 2023, SB 253 requires companies that do business in California and exceed a total annual revenue of $1 billion to annually report their greenhouse gas emissions, in line with GHG Protocol standards and guidance. Under the policy, impacted companies need to report their full carbon inventories, including Scope 3 emissions.

What will it require?

Companies will need to report on their 2025 direct (Scope 1 and Scope 2) emissions in 2026 and their 2026 Scope 3 emissions by 2027. They will need to hire external, independent auditors to verify their disclosures, or they will be considered incomplete. They will also need to submit reports on a forthcoming digital platform, making this information publicly available. If companies misreport their scope emissions, unknowingly or not, they can be penalized with a fine of up to $500,000. However, Scope 3 emissions can be provided under a safe harbor due to the difficulty in calculating the entirety of value-chain emissions.

Other bills coming out of California

In addition to SB 253, the California Assembly and Senate passed SB 261 – the Climate-Related Financial Risk Act. This bill requires companies with revenues above $500 million to report on their climate risks.