The SEC Makes a Move in Climate-Related Disclosure Guidance
As foreshadowed in a prior blog post, 2022 promises to be an important and fast-paced year regarding ESG and climate-related regulatory activity. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been focused on the adequacy and accuracy of climate-related and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosures. While much has been said in speeches, risk alerts, sample disclosure comment letters, and other public statements in warning companies that they must be clear and accurate in climate-related investor disclosures, the last guidance provided to companies on this topic by the SEC was in 2010. This 2010 interpretive guidance needed updating to keep pace with the ever-changing climate concerns raised by regulators and investors.
Just over a year since acting SEC Chair Lee first invited public input on climate change disclosure, the SEC has finally calendared the date for consideration of the issuance of proposed rules regarding “enhancing and standardizing climate-related disclosures for investors.” The Open Meeting to discuss the proposal is scheduled for March 21, 2022. If the proposed rules are issued, companies will likely have 45-60 days to comment. Companies would be well-advised to be poised to review and comment once the proposed rules are issued.
Arnold & Porter’s Environmental Social and Governance working group has been actively monitoring and advising in this area. Past ESG and climate-related client advisories and a link to the relevant Arnold & Porter webpages can be found here and here. Please reach out to any of the authors or your regular Arnold & Porter contact to discuss possible rule proposals and how to stay ahead of this fast-moving landscape.
© Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP 2022 All Rights Reserved. This blog post is intended to be a general summary of the law and does not constitute legal advice. You should consult with counsel to determine applicable legal requirements in a specific fact situation.