SEC asks companies for details on impact of climate change

Dive Transient:

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has asked businesses throughout a range of industries to deliver additional depth on the effect of weather change on their economic condition and operations.
  • The agency’s division of corporation finance has sent CFOs requests for a wide variety of climate change information, like its bodily impact and the direct and indirect effects of local weather-related legislation and regulation. The SEC launched a sample of its letter on Wednesday, when not specifying the extent of its distribution.
  • Facts relevant to local climate modify-similar hazards and prospects may possibly be expected in disclosures similar to a company’s description of enterprise, authorized proceedings, chance elements and management’s dialogue and examination of economical condition and final results of operations,” the SEC mentioned.

Dive Perception:

SEC Chair Gary Gensler explained in July he has questioned agency team to submit a proposal for mandatory local weather hazard disclosures for company thing to consider by the conclusion of 2021. These reports might be essential in an expanded Variety 10-K and explain a company’s immediate and oblique carbon emissions, together with individuals by suppliers and partners in its “value chain.”

Companies might have to have to report on metrics this sort of as greenhouse gasoline emissions, fiscal impacts of weather alter and progress in the direction of local weather-linked objectives, Gensler claimed, adding that he aims to assure trader obtain to “consistent, similar, and conclusion-useful disclosures.”

The proposed disclosure rule may possibly not be completely ready for community release right up until early 2022, Gensler explained Wednesday.

“Whether it’s late this calendar year or early next calendar year, I feel so,” he claimed in a webcast sponsored by the Council of Institutional Investors. “But it nonetheless has to go to the five member [SEC] commissioners and the conversations amongst the 5 of us to vote it out.”

The lately sent SEC letter stems from the agency’s steerage on climate change disclosure launched in 2010. The agency identifies several prospective ambiguities or omissions in a local climate-adjust disclosure doc, including:

  • any discrepancy in between a company’s SEC filing and a company social obligation report

  • hazard factors, these types of as from litigation related to local weather alter or when switching absent from fossil fuels

  • particulars on past or long run cash expenditures for local weather-associated initiatives

  • indirect influence from local weather-associated regulation or organization trends this sort of as declining demand from customers for goods or services that produce significant greenhouse gasoline emissions

  • bodily impact from fires or critical weather, these as hurricanes, floods, or drought

  • an raise in compliance fees

  • order or sale of carbon credits or offsets.

“The sample responses do not represent an exhaustive listing of the issues that businesses should really think about,” the SEC claimed. “Any responses issued would be appropriately tailored to the distinct corporation and sector.”

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