FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 14, 2021
Washington, D.C. – Stephen Hall, Legal Director and Securities Specialist for Better Markets, issued the following statement on the filing of a comment letter urging the SEC to establish a new disclosure framework for climate-related risks that companies face.
“There is a broad scientific consensus that the Earth’s climate is warming as a result of human activity and that this trend will cause widespread economic disruption and human suffering if it is left unchecked. In fact, scientists agree we are already seeing the impact, from increases in extreme weather events (including a record-setting 2020 hurricane season) to more frequent and more severe wildfires from California to Australia. A global effort is now underway to combat climate change, with nearly every major country committing to drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions over the years in a Herculean effort to avoid the worst long-range impacts.
“These climate changes, and the effort to combat them, will affect businesses in every sector, from energy and industrial production to real estate, agriculture, and consumer products. Accordingly, in order for the markets to function properly and for investors to be able to make well-informed investment decisions, they need companies to make meaningful disclosures about climate risk. And that information must be comparable across companies and sectors. It’s no surprise that investor demand for robust company disclosure of information about climate change has been increasing dramatically for at least a decade, and it’s time for the SEC to act.
“As we argue in our comment letter, to serve investors, the markets, and the broader economy, the required disclosures must be comprehensive, accurate, and comparable. We also urge the SEC to avoid a race to the bottom in the search for a uniform set of global standards; to ensure that any new disclosure requirements are rigorously enforceable; and to pursue disclosure requirements for private as well as public companies. Finally, we argue that this important initiative should go hand-in-hand with a broader set of disclosure requirements that cover information about other social and corporate governance issues, including diversity.”
Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies – including many in finance – to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit www.bettermarkets.com.