May 30, 2013 / 1:42 PM / 4 years ago

Big firms should report environmental impact -UN panel

* Panel advises mandatory reporting for large companies

* Environment protection core part of plan to end poverty

By Environment Correspondent Alister Doyle

OSLO, May 30 (Reuters) - Big companies should report their impact on the environment in addition to their earnings under a U.N. plan to boost economic growth and ease poverty by 2030, according to recommendations by a panel of world leaders issued on Thursday.

A final draft by a group including British Prime Minister David Cameron and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, parts of which were leaked to Reuters, says the environment should be at the core of development plans.

“Without environmental sustainability, we cannot end poverty; the poor are too deeply affected by natural disasters and too dependent on deteriorating oceans, forests and soils,” the 27-strong panel said.

The report, almost 100 pages long, was due to be released later on Thursday in New York to help the world set targets for 2030, succeeding the Millennium Development Goals that run to 2015 and focus on reducing poverty and hunger.

Among recommendations, it says that large businesses should be obliged to report on their social and environmental impacts, in addition to their financial accounts. About a quarter of businesses now make environmental reports, it said.

“We suggest that a mandatory ‘comply or explain’ regime be phased in for all companies with a market capitalization above $100 million equivalent,” the panel’s report said.

“The same principle should apply to governments. National accounting for social and environmental effects should be mainstreamed by 2030.”

Last year, Britain became the first country to force major companies to publish their greenhouse gas emission in corporate earnings reports. The requirement applies to 1,800 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. (Additional reporting by Nina Chestney in London, editing by Mark Heinrich)

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