U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler zeroed in on his view that it is within the agency’s remit to require companies to disclose details about their greenhouse gas pollution.
The SEC will consider all public comments, including from people who are against the agency’s plan, as the regulator weighs changes to a proposal announced last month that would change how corporations disclose their climate-change risks, Gensler said in remarks at a conference on Tuesday. The plan is consistent with other SEC rules and the agency needs to “hear all sides,” Gensler said.
For the first time ever, the SEC has proposed that businesses outline the risks a warming planet poses to their operations when they file registration statements, annual reports or other documents. Some large companies would have to provide information on emissions they don’t make themselves, but come from other firms in their supply chain. The proposal will likely face legal challenges after setting up a major clash with industry lobbyists and Republican lawmakers who argue the regulations are outside the SEC’s jurisdiction.
“We are seeking feedback on every line item,” Gensler said. “We consider all of those comments in determining whether and how to adjust the release as we move forward.”
After reviewing public comments, the agency can revise its plan before holding a vote on the final rule. Groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have taken issue with the SEC’s action, and lawmakers have also called on Gensler to reconsider.